JUBA, MARCH 17, 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan’s prominent civil society activist Edmund Yakani has welcomed the release of two journalists who remaining in National Security Service (NSS) detention following release of their colleagues earlier this month.
In January, South Sudan’s National Security Service (NSS) arrested seven journalists over circulation of a video in which President Salva Kiir Mayardit could been seen wetting on himself in public while inaugurating a road project north of the capital Juba.
Last month, three of the detained journalists were released from detention by the intelligence agency and just last week, two more were released, bringing the number of those still in the government security agency detention to two.
The two – Garang John and Jacob Benjamin – were then released on Thursday evening, according to the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS.
In a statement, Yakani who is the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) welcomed the release of the journalists and thanked the NSS for responding to the civil society watchdog’s calls for the journalists’ release.
“CEPO welcomes the release of the detained journalists by the national security services. CEPO congratulates the leadership of the national security services for responding positively for our public and silent advocacy for release of the journalists. We also appreciate the efforts of UJOSS in making sure that their colleagues are released,” Yakani told Sudans Post.
“The release of the detained journalists will be demonstration of National Security Service’s adherence to the principles of respect of human rights and rule of law. This is good beginning if it can be sustained and exercised from now on to the future,” he added.
The prominent activist further stressed that “It is now time to respect human rights and tackle culture of impunity. It is good that CEPO engaged in silent lobby effectively on this matter with various leaders, but this arrest of journalists should not be repeated again in the future. It is better to use the principle of rule of law where anybody in conflict with law is subject to face competent court of law through legal proceedings and procedures.”