Kaduna, 19th July 2016 – Africa Media Development Foundation (AMDF) is calling on South Sudan authorities to immediately and unconditionally release South Sudanese journalist Alfred Taban, arrested for doing his job.
A colleague told reporters that Taban, editor-in-chief of an independent English-language daily Juba Monitor, has been arrested and detained since, July 16.
Taban and Anna Nimiriano, the paper’s editorial director were summoned to National Security Service headquarters for Taban’s use of his column to call for the resignation of President Salva Kiir and the first vice president, Riek Machar, saying both of them have failed in leadership.
Nimiriano was released but Taban was immediately put in the detention. “They took him straight to detention. They told the soldiers in my presence to arrest him.” Nimiriano told reporters
She added, “They arrested him at 4pm. They said the opinion article Alfred wrote in his column yesterday (Friday) was an incitement and ordered the closure of the paper with immediate effect.”
The column by Alfred Taban was headed, “Salva Kiir, Dr. Riek Machar should be removed.”
He stated in the article, “President Salva Kiir and his first deputy Dr. Riek Machar have completely failed,” adding that they were either unable or unwilling to control their forces “who killed scores of people in Juba, including soldiers and civilians and looted the properties of many people of Juba.”
“These troops have also raped women, extorted money from passengers and drivers and burnt down houses of innocent civilians. The two leaders declared a ceasefire only after hundreds of people had already been killed,” wrote the chief editor.
AMDF Coordinator, Sekyen Dadik says “South Sudan government must allow journalists to practice freely without any form of harassment. African leaders should learn how to operate within the ambits of the law, as well as providing protection to journalists.”