By Yang Ater Yang
The county court judge in Rumbek central county Akel Alek in the 3rd session dismissed a case against 5 teachers who were detained in panda hotel military barrack and Rumbek Central prison for 65 days without lawful procedures by the minister of Education Lakes state.
The six teachers detained were sat free on Tuesday.
In interview with No.1 citizen Daily English Newspaper on Tuesday, the volunteer defend lawyer David Kaman Bol confirmed the dismissal of the case against the teachers yesterday. The county court judge Akel Alex issued an order for the dismissal under section 226 of the criminal procedure act.
He said the judge is the one who knows the legal procedures and we have been saying that these teachers are not criminals because they did not commit any crime and they should have to be released.
“Somebody who came to your office and asks for his right is not a punishable crime by law,” he said.
He said what these teachers were requesting was the increment of their salary and this increment came from Juba July 2021 and with effect from July 2021 and they just claimed it this year in the month of June 2022.
“Legally by law the teachers have right to open a case against the ministry of education who happened to arrest the teachers falsely in the military barrack and transferred them to Rumbek central prison for 52 days meanwhile they didn’t commit any crime saying that it is an unlawful arrest and they were detained without lawful procedures taken and the ministry of education should pay for it,” he said.
Emmanuel Mapuor Mabor a former detained teachers in Rumbek expressed his happiness to Rumbek central county court judge for not being found criminals with his colleagues and set free.
“It is my pleasure to have the good news that the county court judge has set us free, it’s a wonderful thing to be dignified, this shows that justice for us all has been served and our dignity of being called criminals and not teachers is now protected,” he said.
“The journey of our detention started at Panda Hotel to military barrack and to Rumbek central prison, we spent 65 days since we got arrested on 20th June 2022, we fell sick and psychologically tortured in the military barrack,” he said.
He said what next after we are set now free and the case dismissed against us is to seek for treatment. “We teachers are the backbone of the nation and we cannot give up even though we suffered psychological torture and a lot of stress, it remains our mandate to transfer the knowledge to the children in the community,” he said.
He said we thank the governor Rin Tueny Mabor the presidency and the Council of States for their intervention because what we were demanding was not for our own benefit.
Civil society activist Daniel Laat Kon Ater applauded the volunteer defend lawyers and the county court judge for standing up with the poor and vulnerable detained teachers in Panda military barrack.
He said justice has been served and it is up to the teachers to decide what next after they are not found guilty and set free by the county court judge
Laat appealed to the all International Organizations and UN agencies especially Human Rights Defenders to intervene by supporting the teachers’ treatment, counseling and trauma healing processes.