IFJ Condemns the Arrest and Detention of a Journalist in South Sudan

 The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today has condemned

the arrest and detention in very inhumane conditions of journalist Alfred Taban

in South Sudan.

According to the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS), Alfred

Taban, a veteran journalist and chief editor of the Juba Monitor, was arrested and detained for hours

on Sunday, March 3, 2013, after the publication of an opinion story written by a

citizen from Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State, one of the ten states of South


The opinion article questioned the integrity of the former governor

of Lakes State, Mr. Chuol Tong Mayay, concerning the accountability of public

funds which were not definitely used to implement a project. The writer of the

opinion piece raised concerns on how the money was spent.  The former governor reportedly went to the

police station and opened a case against the newspaper.  Taban was subsequently

arrested and locked up in a small cell for hours without anything to sit on,

food or water to drink. 

“We condemn the arrest and detention of Taban as a criminal. Citizens

must be allowed to express their views in the public interest as this is what

guarantees good governance, accountability and probity. This expression cannot

be criminalised. We call on authorities in South Sudan to stop with immediate

effect, the intimidation of journalists and endeavour to promote freedom of

expression and of the press”, said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ Africa Director.  

Over the last two months UJOSS has documented more than 10 cases of

arrests and detentions due to the absence of media laws in South Sudan. Last

December, Diing Chan Awuol, journalist, columnist and blogger, was murdered in

cold blood outside his home in the suburb of Gudek in Juba, the capital city.

 “We urge parliamentarians to pass the laws to protect journalists,

media actors and the public. The delay of passing the media laws is a challenge

for the administration of justice for journalists, media houses and the public

in South Sudan,” said Oliver Modi Philip Chairperson of the Union of Journalists

of South Sudan.  


For more information,

please contact IFJ on +221- 33 867 95 87

The IFJ represents

more than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries