South Sudan security operatives prevented a newspaper editor from leaving court premises, despite being granted bail, journalists and family members said
Alfred Taban, the founding editor ofJuba Monitor was arrested on 16 July by national security agents, a day after the paper’s editorial called for the removal of South Sudanese President, Salva Kiir, and the first vice president, Riek Machar, for allegedly failing to successfully implement the August 2015 peace agreement.
However, family members and journalists said on Tuesday that Taban has been denied bail again after he was charged under Article 75 and 76 of the Penal Code 2008 and cannot now be granted bail.
“Alfred has been transferred from the national security premises where he was held for more than a week to Juba north police station where the charges against were read out. He is charged under article 75 and article 76, which are irrelevant articles in this case”, a family member toldSudan Tribune.
He has been charged with “publishing or communicating false statement prejudicial to Southern Sudan” under Article 75 and Article 76 deals with “undermining authority of and insulting the President”.
In South Sudan, journalists like Taban, still face constant harassment.
The head of union of journalists in South Sudan, Oliver Modi said in a separate interview he was concerned that the health condition of the detained editor would deteriorate if he is not granted bail.
“They have refused him bail [Taban] which is provided for in the constitution. I appeal to the authorities to listen to those appealing for his release on bail”, said Modi.
Last week, Michael Christopher, the editor of Al-Watan newspaper was arrested and detained after the paper misquoted the information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth.