IFJ Calls On South Sudan To Release Two Ugandan Journalists Detained In The Country

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today called on the

authorities in South Sudan to release two Ugandan journalists, detained in the

country. According to Uganda Journalists Union (UJU) an IFJ affiliate,

journalist Justin Dralaze, a correspondent for Reuters and journalist Hilary

Ayesiga were reportedly picked up by security officials on Saturday, 27 July

from the streets of Juba before being detained in a military establishment.


“We call on authorities in South Sudan to release the journalists

immediately and unconditionally, in the interest of press freedom, good

governance and the rule of law,” said Gabriel Baglo, Director of the IFJ Africa

Office. “Filming in the streets does not constitute any serious ground for

arrest. The action of the security agents therefore can only be interpreted as

an act of intimidation”.


According to sources quoted by the Ugandan Journalists Union, (UJU)  the two journalists are being detained at the

National Security headquarters. South Sudan security officials claim the two

journalists had no press permits or formal accreditation issued by the Juba

authorities. But it is not clear why the two civilians had to be detained in a

military barracks instead of being taken to a Police Station or a Court of law.


“South Sudan authorities should release the journalists with immediate

effect and allow them to do their work or ask them to go home. There is no

justification of detaining the journalists in a military barracks,” said UJU

President, Lucy Anyango Ekadu. “The authorities in South Sudan must base their

actions in line with international standards that guarantee the freedom of

expression and of the press. The journalists should be released immediately and



The arrest of journalists comes at the height of tensions in the world’s

youngest nation after President Salva Kiir disbanded the entire Cabinet last



 For more information,

please contact IFJ on + 221 33 867 95 86/87


The IFJ represents more than

600.000 journalists in 134 countries