Home | News    Sunday 30 August 2015

Fears as South Sudanese journalist disappears for weeks

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August 29, 2015 (JUBA/TORIT) - A South Sudanese journalist has gone missing nearly month after he was allegedly arrested and detained by security operatives in Eastern Equatoria state, his relatives and community members told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

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Clement Lochio Lormonana (Facebook photo)

Clement Lochio Lormonana, formerly a reporter with Gurtong Trust, was arrested on 6 August in Eastern Equatoria’s Budi county, the Haula community, an association of the Didinga and Buya communities in Canada and the United States, said in a statement.

“[We are] writing to express urgent concerns […]to circumstance of South Sudanese journalist missing after being detained by South Sudan security forces on August 6,” partly reads the statement signed by the Haula diaspora group.

“Clement Lochio Lormonana was arrested in Chukudum, Budi County, with two friends when government security agents showed up in their hut in the middle of the night, rounded them up, and took them to the military barracks,” added the statement.

Eastern Equatoria governor, Louis Lobong Lojore, declined last week to answer queries regarding the arrest of three individuals in the capital, Juba. He instead said any suspect arrested by security forces would be investigated and then released if found innocent.

South Sudanese journalists operate in an extremely insecure environment and the recent killing of a reporter in Juba by unknown gunmen has increased more fear. The death of Peter Julius Moi brings to seven the numbers of scribes killed in South Sudan this year.

According to the Huala group, Lormonana and his brothers Amin Venansio and Nailo Venansio, were immediately placed in solitary confinement and tortured after their arrest.

“Even after Clement’s arm was broken and Nailo started coughing blood, abusive interrogation went on uninterrupted,” the group further claimed in their statement.

Relatives said Lormonana and his brother were last seen being loaded onto a military vehicle.

“Nothing has been heard of them ever since. All attempts by the community to secure their release while still in Budi County failed", the community said in their release.

According to the Huala community, in the months leading to Lormonana’s arrest, the journalist had shared his worries with his family members and friends because he allegedly received death threats and was reportedly being followed in Juba by stalkers.

"He found it necessary to leave his family and journalism work and go into hiding in Uganda and Kenya. The family abroad helped with his living expenses. He returned this month to Chukudum his home town hoping it would be a safe haven,” the group said.

Authorities in Eastern Equatoria are yet to comment on Lormonana’s alleged arrest or whereabouts.

Front Line Defenders, a Dublin-based international human rights body, has asked the South Sudanese authorities to "unconditionally" release the renowned human rights defender.

(ST)

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  • 31 August 2015 03:29, by ngadodo

    why Clement Lochio Lormonana,gone missing in the Hand of Security forces when government don’t no how to govern people you finding killing innocence people in Country.
    please Dingdingak should be servious about this cases of Clement Lochio Lormonce because about Month Powerful Man n Country President Salva Kiir declaring war in Journalist, so I can asked president Salva Kiir to find innocence

    repondre message

    • 31 August 2015 03:32, by ngadodo

      individuals who gone missing in country without Tracey why? that bring bad image in country including Government itself.

      repondre message

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