JUBA, JANUARY 19TH 2023 (SUDANS POST) – South Sudan activist Peter Biar Ajak has appealed to the international community to give a special attention to the world’s youngest country and called for measures against rights violators.
The US-based activist made the remarks following the arrest of Garang John, former SSBC news anchor, who disappeared on Monday morning before appearing in the National Security Service (NSS) detention in the country’s capital Juba.
“It has come to my attention that journalist Garang John was abducted yesterday by individuals who turned out to be agents of National Security Service (NSS). Since then, he has been subjected to arbitrary detention,” Biar said in the statement seen by Sudans Post.
“His family has not been informed of his whereabouts or the reasons for his arrest. Rumors have it that it is in connection with the recent viral video in which President Salva Kiir appeared to urinate on himself during the singing of the National Anthem while launching the construction of Juba-Terekeka Road,” he said.
The prominent activist further urged the National Security Service and the government of South Sudan to publicly admit he is being detained in their custody and immediately release him or “then let them charge him with an offense that is recognizable in international law, and in accordance with South Sudan’s constitution.”
Biar charged that the intelligence agency is using the viral video in which President Salva Kiir Mayardit was seen apparently wetting on himself as an excuse to infringe media freedoms and called on the international community to take measures against rights violators in the world’s youngest country.
“The incident of the President soiling himself is being used by the NSS as an excuse to trample on media freedoms and intimidate journalists. This is absolutely unacceptable!” he said.
“I call on the international community to pay close attention and to hold the perpetrators of these violations accountable,” he added.
While it remains largely unclear why the NSS detained him, sources at the SSBC told Sudans Post that one of the six journalists who are currently being held by the National Security Service over the video of the president implicated Garang John in its circulation.