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Journalists’ Union condemns police brutality in Lakes State

Mr. Patrick Oyet Charles, Union of Journalists South Sudan (UJOSS) President speaks during one of the past events (Courtesy photo)

By John Agok 

The Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS) has condemned the police brutality against journalists in South Sudan’s Lakes state over the weekend. 

Police in Rumbek town on Saturday assaulted four media practitioners working for Good News Radio [89 FM] under the Catholic Radio Network (CRN) after they had gone to see their detained colleague who is a music producer at the Radio Station.

However, the Journalists Union’s leadership later condemned the incident after learning about it. 

“UJOSS strongly condemned the act by the police against the media personnel, whether the media personnel were suspects or not, there is no law in South Sudan that provides for assault of suspects,” the statement signed by Mr. Oyet Patrick Charles, the Union’s President partly reads.

The leadership called for immediate investigations into the matter. The four journalists were reportedlymishandled after visiting a colleague. 

Mr Oyet had recently promised to work in collaboration with government and other stakeholders to ensure safety and protection of journalists across the country. 

He then cautioned the police to be observance of the rule of law in South Sudan. 

The assaulted journalists were later reported to have been set free, according to the local sources. 

Daniel Laat Kon, the Community Empowerment for Progress (CEPO) Coordinator in Lakes State also condemned the brutality of the police and demanded for release of the detained Radio Producer. 

“This is the third time police is brutally assaulting the civilians in Lakes State especially within this year alone, and the act must stop. I am demanding the immediate release of detained artist in safer condition”, he stated. . 

Mr. Kon urged law enforcers to abide by the rule of law across the country. 

“We need to see suspects treated in the context of law and this is by sending them to court without torturing or assaulting,” he added.

This is the first of its kind this year for journalists in Lakes State to be assaulted.

In 2014, a journalist working for Radio Rumbek [98FM] was detained by the police for hosting a RadioTalk show that condemned the police behaviorstowards civilians in Lakes.  

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