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Detained Citizen TV journalist released

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June 5, 2013 (JUBA) - A journalist from South Sudan’s independent Citizen Television station who was detained on Tuesday by security agents has been released without charge a day after being taken into custody.

Nhial Bol Aken, The Citizen newspaper’s editor-chief in Juba (ST)

Managing director Nhial Bol Aken said a security agent had come to the office at about 10:00am and taken station manager Cosmas Mundu to its headquarters west of Juba. No reason was given for his detention.

Following his release, Mundu told Sudan Tribune he had been questioned in relation to two articles published in The Citizen newspaper last month.

He said he told security officials he had nothing to to with the publication of the articles as the paper falls under different management.

Mundu did not provide further details on the nature of the articles in question.

Aken linked the incident to the 30 May raid on the offices of The Citizen newspaper and its television station, which were allegedly attacked “at gun point” by a security agent.

Aken said he believes the incident was also linked to an alleged directive by South Sudan’s security service, restricting the media from covering the political activities of the country’s vice-president, Riek Machar.

“They [security agents] have taken him [Mundu] to their headquarters in Jebel Kunjur. They are of course going to intimidate him so that he stops broadcasting activities involving [the] vice-president. This is what they are up to”, The Citizen boss told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

“They are after their agenda which is to censor us from covering activities involving [the] vice-president”, he added.

A government official later confirmed the incident, saying he was present when security personnel arrived at the station and demanded that Mundu stop what he was doing at the time and accompany them to their headquarters.

Sudan Tribune was able to contact the journalist while he was still in detention, who confirmed that he was unharmed and being held by security services for interrogation.

A senior official at the ministry of information and broadcasting service said at the time they “had no information” about what he considered “normal summon[s]”, adding that he had personally received a call from The Citizen newspaper’s management following the incident.

The latest incident comes as South Sudan’s security services on Friday reportedly ordered management of the state-owned South Sudan television (SSTV) to refrain from covering activities involving Machar, a source told Sudan Tribune, although the vice-president’s press secretary has denied the claims.

There are fears among president Salva Kiir’s supporters that Machar may be considering a bid to become the chairperson of South Sudan’s ruling party (SPLM), putting him in a prime position to be the party’s candidate for the 2015 presidential elections.

Kiir recently withdrew various executive powers from his deputy, including removing him from chairing a conference on national reconciliation due to be held in the young nation.

(ST)

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  • 7 June 2013 01:50, by jay b

    That is so crazy. How come they keep doing the same without proper reason favoring them? They think it work but they don’t know they are digging their own grave.

    • 7 June 2013 02:16, by TaTa

      I can see kiir is so scared but still he will fail to win......go smart guy...

    • 7 June 2013 08:33, by Malou Manyiel

      President Kiir is being demoted by the so called his supporters and advisers. They even don’t know that what they are doing has given vice president great popularity. President Kiir may think that he has supporters and good advisers but they are his first enemies.

  • 7 June 2013 10:38, by Tura Acuse

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha Kiir Mayardit, my president what is wrong with your advisors? why don’t they give you ideas to express your self to public so that we love you as days goes by with your sweet words instead of them getting jealousy of the VP Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon.

  • 7 June 2013 10:44, by Good South Sudanese

    These dogs are afraid even of their own shadows. But whether they like it or not, Mr Riek is the next president, whether haters like it or not. It is better for them to start cooperate with the new-To-be-President Riek. The more you dogs commit your crimes the faster you are going to be kicked out.

  • 7 June 2013 10:56, by Alier42

    Kiir,s agents have started panickingn before 2015,your term is coming to an end,you need to wound up with your corruption,enough is enough for now,Kiir groups have even sensed their incompetence in their mismanagement of state resources ,such an era will be no more.

  • 7 June 2013 12:42, by Abu sala

    miidit....Be ashamed of yourself miidit, if you are promoting or campaigning for the vice president to the top job. this does not mean you declared war, considering Dr. Machar his current politic position he will not again preaches hate because "he did that done" before. so be mindful of what you are saying. I don’t think Dr. Machar going for presidency only hoping for Nuer votes and make him win.



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