Home | News    Monday 26 April 2010

Journalist arrested by security operatives in Bentiu, Unity state

By James Gatdet Dak

April 26, 2010 (JUBA) – A local journalist working as correspondent for Sudanvotes and Bentiu FM radio station has been arrested by security operatives in the Unity state’s capital, Bentiu, and his whereabouts are not yet known.

Bonifacio Taban On Friday, 23rd April, Bonifacio Taban Kuich was arrested while covering the general protest across Bentiu town, following the announcement by the State High Election Committee and the National Election Commission (NEC) that the SPLM incumbent caretaker governor, Taban Deng Gai, had won the gubernatorial election against his main independent rival, Angelina Teny.

During the demonstrations two people were reported shot dead by security forces and several others seriously wounded, one later died in hospital, adding the dead to three in number.

Bonifacio Taban Kuich was arrested in Bentiu Hospital while trying to cover the situation of the injured and reportedly beaten by the security operatives. His working equipment was also confiscated. He was later on released on Friday evening without the return of his equipment and was re-arrested on Saturday, 24th April.

His family members said the security personnel had taken him to an unknown location. They said they did not know the reason for his arrest because there were no charges labeled against him.

In a statement issued by the administration of Bentiu FM and Sudanvotes, the media house called on the state authority to unconditionally release their colleague, Taban.

"In accordance with international and Sudanese media election law, journalists cannot be targeted, harassed or arrested while reporting on elections," reminded the statement.

"Bentiu FM and Sudanvotes call for [the] immediate unconditional release of Mr Bonifacio Taban Kuich or ask that he be charged," it continued.