Home | News    Tuesday 27 August 2019

S. Sudanese journalist released after weeks in detention

August 26, 2019 (JUBA) – A South Sudanese journalist was on Monday freed after spending almost six weeks in detention without any charge.

Michael Christopher of Al-Watan newspaper (ST photo)

"I stayed inside for 39 days and there were no charges put against me... that is why, they decided to release me," Michael Christopher, editor of the Arabic-language daily Al-Watan told The East African.

Last month, South Sudanese security officers blocked Michael who was heading to Nairobi to seek medical attention, from traveling.

Since then, he was held by at the country’s National Security Service (NSS) headquarters before his eventual release without any charge.

His arrest, however, attracted widespread condemnation and criticism from various human rights groups and media bodies.

Earlier, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called for Michael’s release and for authorities to halt "harassment of his publication".

South Sudan ranks 139 out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2019 global press freedom index.

From 2014 to 2017, at least 10 journalists were killed in South Sudan, which gained independence in from neighbouring Sudan in 2011.