Oct 20, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — A south Sudanese journalist, who was arrested on Friday last week for covering students’ protest at Juba Univeristy, has been released after spending three days in detention without charges.
Bullen Alexander Bala, who works for local Juba monitor newspaper, was arrested by National Security Service while covering Juba University Students protest and taken to one of the detention centers at the riverside before being transferred to a police station at Malakia where he is currently being detained.
According to Anna Nimiriano, the Editor in Chief of the Juba Monitor Newspaper, Bullen Bala was released on bail.
“Bullen was released on bail yesterday after spending three days in prison, and on top of that there were no clear charges l against him,” she said.
Nimiriano urged the national security organs to respect media laws that protect journalists while doing their job.
“I want to urge the government and especially the national security to respect the freedom of journalists to operate in the field because this is making many journalists see the career as a threat yet they love what they do,” Nimiriano added.
Mary Ajith, the chairperson of AMDISS has called for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Bullen Bala, saying the journalist did nothing wrong.
“In case they have forgotten that he was doing his work, we will remind them Bullen was doing his work and he doesn’t deserve being behind bars,” Ms. Ajith added.
Since independence in 2011, dozens of reporters have been subjected to intimidation, arrest, censorship and violence, according to rights groups.
This has led to many rights groups condemning the continued arrest, intimidation, detention, and censorship of journalists making the media environment hostile for journalists to operate. Many journalists have either abandoned the trade or fled the country for safety.
The Media Authority Act 2013, prohibits the unlawful arrest, detention, harassment, intimidation and torture of journalists. But according to rights groups, dozens of reporters have been subjected to intimidation, arrest, censorship, and violence.