Activist slams Jonglei police over missing detained protesters

By Taban Henry

A civil society activist and the Executive Director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) has slammed police authorities in Jonglei State over the irresponsible statement saying the three detained members of workers union escaped from police cell.

CEPO’s Executive Director, Mr. Edmund Yakani criticized the State police authorities and cautioned them against using the word escape to put the lives of the three civil servants who were previously at police custody into risk.

He said on Sunday the Jonglei State police commissioner confirmed that the missing leaders of the state workers union previously detained a week ago have escaped from detention with the help of the police officers on duty.

David Mayen Deng, Samuel Majier Looch and Ruben Matiop Mayol were arrested while leading civil servants protest demanding the payment of the five months’ salary arrears in Bor town on August 12.

The three men include the Chairperson of Jonglei State Workers’ Trade Union, Secretary General of the Union and the Chairperson of Teachers’ Union respectively.

In a statement to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday, CEPO’s Executive Director Edmund Yakani said the hope for the language “they have escaped from the hands of the police shouldn’t be the language.”

The activist stressed that the language used by the police is putting the lives of the three officials from the teachers and the workers union into danger.

Yakani believed that the State authorities specifically the law enforcement agents have the prime responsibility to protect the lives of those who are in conflict with the law.

“We feel that if the police see that the three officials are in conflict with the law then their safety, protection and their security is the primary responsibility of the police and now that the police commissioner confirmed officially that they escaped which we learned that they escaped and are not within the police custody.”

“The police have the priority to tell us the whereabouts of the three people and where they escaped. If they escaped or coordinated by the police officer still the leadership of Jonglei State have the responsibility to hold those police accountable or exactly reveal to the families, society and to the country at large the whereabouts and the fate of this three people,” Yakani stressed.

“The language that they have escaped, if it happens to be a cover for something that next tomorrow or after some days that the fate or the lives of those workers are at risk we don’t want”.

The activist urged the Police Inspector General to intervene on this issue adding that the issue is terming itself to complete abuse of human rights,

He stated that the leadership of the police at the level of the Ministry of Interior with the capacity of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) should help them find a concrete solution to this matter, saying if those civil servants are in conflict with the law then let them face the due legal processes rather than subjecting the fate of their lives into question.

“The police leadership should make sure that the police commissioner and the police on duty as the police commissioner has mentioned that clarity is required of this language that they have escaped, when did they escape and why all this time they were silent from the police until the pressure of asking about the fate of the lives of the three teachers,” he stated.

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