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Watchdog condemns ‘kidnapping’ of journalist Garang John

JUBA, JANUARY 17TH 2023 (thejubamirror ) – South Sudan civil society watchdog, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) has condemned the disappearance of controversial journalist Garang John who was allegedly kidnapped by security agents on Tuesday morning

Garang John who is a former news anchor at the  state-own South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) disappeared after meeting a friend, a journalist also, at 11:00AM in Juba, according to source close to Garang.

In a statement, CEPO condemned the kidnapping of the journalist and said it is a disturbing development for journalists and urged the kidnappers to ensure Garang’s safety and urged for him to be taken to court instead of being kept hostage.

“CEPO strongly condemns the act of kidnapping which is on the rise in Juba these days. The disappearance of the SSBC journalist Garang John is disturbing and it is a criminal act. Those behind the disappearance of Garang John should ensure that his security and safety,” the statement reads in part.

“Never torture him and mistreat him. Kindly if journalist Garang John has any case of being in conflict with the law, it is unconstitutional and crime to kidnap him but bring him to face due legal proceedings in competent court of law,” it added.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization said continued disappearance and kidnapping of journalist which he said is on the rise in Juba is a threat to the ongoing transition in the country.

“The trend of kidnappings or act of practicing forceful disappearance developing these days in Juba is risk and posting serious threat toward successful political transitional process through the implementation of the R-ARCSS,” Yakani said.

“I am urging the political leadership of the country to intervene in stopping these practices since the country is facing moments in its history that requires public engagement on political transitional process namely constitutional making process, conduct of elections and transitional justice,” he added.

The activist further stressed that “Acts that violates the president’s closure of year speech that year 2023 should be year of forgiveness, reconciliation and development seems to be raising these days. Raise in kidnapping of individuals and increase in deadly and inhuman violence

“It is an abuse to undermine the call of president for citizens to forgive and reconcile by practicing acts that contradicts byte call of the president. As we expecting the visit of the holy spiritual leaders of Christianity in the country early next month, it is essential that we turn to abolish any practice that undermine respect of human rights.

“CEPO is urging the relevant government authorities to save the life of journalist Garang John. Journalist are enemies of the state/government but journalist of bridge between the government/state and citizens in nurturing social contract.”

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