Central Equatoria State, News

Pressure mounts for Kalisto’s release

By Charles K Mark and Kidega Livingstone


United States of America and Central Equatoria State Parliament have demanded unconditional release of former Mayor of Juba City, Kalisto Lado Faustino.

Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Peter Wani Kulang, condemned the arbitrary arrest and detention of Kalisto, terming it a violation of freedom of expression.

He said the event has transgressed the principles of justice, freedom of expression, and civil liberties.

“The Central Equatoria State Legislative Assembly vehemently condemns this flagrant disregard for the rule of law and the suppression of dissenting voices.” Kulang echoed, “The arrest of Mr. Kalisto amid the atmosphere of censored freedom of expression sets a dangerous precedent and undermines the progress towards a truly democratic society that we aspire to have.”

The CES parliament called for the immediate release of the detained Kalisto or his presentation to a competent court for the law to take its course.

“We urge the immediate release of Mr. Kalisto Lado or his fair trial within 24 hours,” the speaker demanded.

The state assembly vowed not to relent their call until the relevant authorities take action on the matter.

“As far as we know, Kalisto did not do anything wrong. And even if he did, where is the law? Why is he just taken by these armed men in uniform?” speaker Kulang questioned.

The state MPs also condemned and called for an investigation into the killing of a young man in Jebel Lado Payam, Juba County, by alleged land grabbers.

“We demand justice for the victim of the senseless violence in Lado Payam,” the speaker echoed.

Former Juba city mayor Kalisto was reportedly arrested on Saturday night at around 11:29 PM when a heavily mounted security vehicle trailed and nabbed him while in his car adjacent to his house and took him to an unknown location.

Shortly following his arrest, the first deputy speaker of the national assembly, Oyet Nathaniel, lamented how security organs still exercise deleted sections 54 and 55 of the National Security Service Act that give ‘NSS officers a right to arrest without an arrest warrant.

Oyet’s call for the ex-mayor to be released within 24 hours or be taken before a court of law has expired with no positive response yielding from the authorities.

The reason behind the arbitrary arrest of the ex-mayor remains unclear.

Meanwhile, the government of the United States of America strongly condemned the arrest of the former mayor of Juba City Council.

The U.S described the arrest of Kalisto Lado as an “utter lack of transparency” and due process in the March 30 arrest by security personnel in the country.

“The U.S. Embassy condemns the utter lack of transparency and due process in the March 30 arrest of former Juba mayor Kalisto Lado by security personnel in South Sudan,” the U.S. said in a statement seen by the No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper yesterday.

“His detention is yet another example of the South Sudanese transitional government’s failure to open civic and political space for its citizens,” it added. “We call on transitional government authorities to respect the rule of law and provide a public accounting of Mr. Kaslisto’s detention.”

The wife of former Mayor Kalisto told the media that her husband was arrested early on Easter Sunday by unidentified security personnel.

Ann Grace Juan said that Kalisto returned at midnight when he was stopped by armed men outside his gate.

According to Juan, her husband was beaten in front of her before he was forced into a Toyota Land Cruiser and driven away.

On Tuesday, the South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF) strongly condemned the reported arrest of Mr. Kalisto Ladu on Easter Sunday by unidentified security men.

SSCSF said the circumstances surrounding Kalisto’s arrest, as detailed by media sources and his family, raise significant concerns regarding compliance with due process and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms in the South Sudan Legal Framework.

“The SSCSF emphasized that the Transitional Constitutions of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, as amended, guarantee fundamental rights to all citizens. Article 12 of the constitution explicitly protects the rights to liberty and security of persons, ensuring that individuals are not unlawfully detained,” the group noted.

According to the forum, furthermore, Article 19(4) stipulates that “any arrested individual must be promptly brought before a court of law within 24 hours of their detention.”

In light of this constitutional provision and the reported violation of Mr. Kalisto’s rights, the SSCSF calls for immediate action to ensure due process is followed.

It also stressed that it is imperative that authorities adhere to legal procedures and respect the rule of law.


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