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Activist appeals for end to arbitrary arrests, disappearance

By Mamer Abraham


Jonglei Civil Society Network (JCSN) calls for an end to the illegal arrest and disappearance of people.

Bol Deng Bol, Chairman of the Jonglei Civil Society Network made the call following a mysterious disappearance of some youth, hailing from the state.

Biar Ajak Marol (in picture above), the Executive Director of Junubin Chronicles, disappeared on October 4, without trace while his two colleagues, Bill Jacob and Bafora Santelo were reportedly arrested.

“Following the mysterious disappearance of Biar Ajak Marol on October 4th, his colleagues Bill Jacob Kur and Bafora Santelo were arrested on October 10th and 11th, respectively, while searching for him, in the name of “orders from above”, Bol said in a statement.

Bol claimed that the two youth were in police custody and had not been subjected to an investigation so far.

He questioned whether those who arrested and held Biar’s colleagues, whose whereabouts are yet to be known, are also holding Biar in custody.

“They’re currently still in custody without charge. Why the arbitral arrest even when they were searching for this colleague who disappeared in thin air? Does this mean Biar is being held illegally, of course, by those behind the arrest of his colleagues, Bill and Bafora?” Bol’s statement continued.

Aguer Deng Ajang, mother to Biar, who described herself as a widow, noted on Wednesday social media post that her son’s whereabouts were yet to be known.

She called upon relatives and friends to pray.

“Hey relatives, family members, and friends… It’s been a week now since my son went missing… What I am requesting of you all is to kindly pray for the return of my beloved son,” Aguer requested,

Bewildered of what has transpired, Aguer considered herself under temptation which only needs divine intervention.

“I don’t understand why the devil is doing all these things to me. Please, let’s pray together for the whereabouts of my son, Biar Ajak Marol. I am just a widow. May God have mercy on me,” Aguer seeks God’s solace.

According to a statement released by the Junubin Chronicles early this week, Biar left his house on October 4 and did not return home.

His disappearance was reported to Central Police station in Juba Town, as “a missing person” after an exhaustive search on October 5, 2023 yielded no results.

During the search, his Subaru car B4 with the number plate SSD 483 AG was found near Freedom Bridge in Lologo, and his whereabouts, still unknown.

“He, however, never returned home, prompting his colleagues to report him missing and initiate a search party that led to his Subaru B4 number plate SSD 483AG being located next to the Freedom Bridge at Lologo intact, but the car keys were missing, and no witness saw him thereafter,” the statement from the Junubin Chronicles reads.

It’s, however, not clear so far from authorities, who exactly is detaining Biar and his colleagues and over what issue.

For nine days now, the family and friends have been searching but currently have nothing much to do but resort to prayers for Biar and his coworkers to surface.

Meanwhile, efforts to reach the national police spokesperson, Major General Daniel Justin, for comment on the matter were futile by press time.

Last week, the chairperson of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Yasmin Sooka, condemned the government for censoring the media and restricting civic and political space.

She underscored that freedom of expression was an asset for the anticipated 2024 general elections.

Yasmin stressed that independent media and a vibrant civil society represent critical voices in developing accountable governance and democratic processes required to enable peace and ensure human rights.

However, Information Minister and Government spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth dismissed the UN human rights stand on media censorship.

Admitted removal of articles from newspapers, Makuei stressed that it aimed at protecting the public from hate speech and also journalists from lawsuits.

“If the article is inciting hatred, then it ought to be removed. Instead of us allowing it to go to the public and then having people fight over it and cause insecurity, we would prefer to take it out,” Makuei said.

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