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Journalists were only taken for questioning, no arrest, says NSS

The journalists walking out from the Office of the Internal Security Bureau after their release on Tuesday 22 Feb. 2022. Photo: Curtesy









Journalists were only taken for questioning, no arrest, says NSS


The National Security Service has refuted a report that it had illegally detained eight journalists while covering a press conference at the national parliament in Juba last Tuesday.


The journalists went to the national parliament on an invite signed by about 19 legislators to share challenges facing the MPs.

But the security personnel who were within the premises reportedly interrupted and ordered the MPs to call off the presser.

They also confiscated all the media gadgets and took the journalists to the office of Internal Security Bureau within the August House and later transferred to the National Security office along Bilpam road.

The security apparatus accused the journalists of entering the parliamentary premises without taking permission to cover the press conference.

The reporters spent nearly four hours before they were later released after an intervention by the President of the Union of Journalists in South Sudan.

In a statement issued on Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists urged the South Sudanese authorities to cease harassing and threatening journalists for their work.

“Authorities in South Sudan should focus on ensuring that journalists can effectively cover their nation’s politics, instead of detaining them for doing their jobs,” Angela Quintal, CPJ’s Africa program coordinator said.

“Security forces’ harassment and threats toward journalists who sought to cover an event at the country’s legislature show how far authorities are willing to go to control the public discourse.”

Responding to the statement, the Director of Public Relations at the Internal Security Bureau of the National Security Service refuted the claim.

David John Kumuri says they were acting within the law.

“Step taken by the national security apparatus to postpone the press conference was in correspondence with section 1312 of the national security act 2014,” John said.

The section stated that section 1312 stated that: “The service to request any person, information, statement, and document or take any necessary for appropriate measures in respect of such information, statement, document or relevant materials.”

“The national security service refutes the information issued by the Committee to Protect Journalists in Africa. They issued this statement in Washington that the National Security has threatened the Journalists and detained them.

“We have not detained any Journalists but of course as I put it earlier, we took them to our office in Bilpam road, which is the central division in order to explain to them why we postpone the [presser].”

The detained journalists were from the U.S. Congress-funded broadcaster Voice of America, The City Review newspaper, Radio Bakhita and Eye Radio.

Others include, the Insider South Sudan news website, No.1 Citizen Newspaper and the UN funded Radio Mirraya.






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