Police authorities at Malakia police station in South Sudan’s capital Juba have arrested two journalists working for al-Watan Arabic daily newspaper on Tuesday over alleged defamation of an SPLA general.
The arrested journalists are chief editor Michael Christopher, who formerly worked as a presenter for SSTV, and reporter Lal Chol Makuac.
The newspaper recently published a story supported by a written police case number 193 against SPLA General Gregory Basili, an in-law of President Kiir, who was accused of storming a court of law in Juba following a land dispute with a complainant.
A media source close to the matter informed Radio Tamazuj that the chief editor was summoned by the police this morning to answer a question on how he obtained the document, but he was abruptly arrested on charges of defamation around 10:00 am.
Lal then went to the Malakia police station in an attempt to release his chief editor on bail, but the investigator also served him another warrant of arrest over defamation at 11:00 am.
The newspaper had reported that Kiir’s in-law Gregory Basili stormed a court where a land case was being heard against him.
At least one gunshot was fired at the courthouse during the incident.
Reportedly, Basili has been searching for the journalists for several days since publication of the report.