Ugandan journalists detained in South Sudan

HRNJ-Uganda alert,

Kampala, 29th July/2013;

Ugandan journalists detained in South Sudan

The two Ugandan journalists, Justin Dralaze and Hilary Ayesiga, who were arrested in South Sudan are still in detention in the Country’s Capital Juba. It is not clear as to whether they could be charged or just released.

Uganda’s Ambassador to South Sudan, Amb. Maj. Gen. Robert Rusoke told Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda) that the journalists were still in detention since Saturday. “No, they have not yet been released, but we have communicated to the National Security of South Sudan –the people who are holding them, to see that they are released. So we are handling this together with them. Let’s hold on and see what happens.” he told HRNJ-Uganda.

The duo, Dralaze -a reporter with an international news agency –Reuters and Ayesiga-a reporter with NTV Uganda, were reportedly arrested on July 27, 2013 and detained at the National Security headquarters in Juba on Saturday evening. They were reportedly arrested as they filmed near key government offices and security facilities. Amb. Rosoke declined to divulge details for their arrest.

Juba is experiencing a tense political and security situation since President Salva Kiir sacked his Vice President Riek Machar, and the entire Cabinet. There is a high presence of the army on the streets of Juba to enforce a curfew. The residents keep indoors from till 10am.

Human rights Lawyer, Ladislaus Rwakafuzi warned against jeopardizing the security of the detained journalists by making sensitive and desperate statements, “We have no jurisdiction to act on matters within that territory, so we should avoid making statements that are likely to endanger the security of the two journalists.” he told HRNJ-Uganda.

“The Ugandan government should expedite the release of these journalists who have been in detention since last week. We appeal to the South Sudan government to ensure the safety and rights of these journalists are upheld while in detention. They should also be handed over to the Ugandan government on a bi-lateral relations arrangement.” said the HRNJ-Uganda National Coordinator, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.

For More Information Contact;
Human Rights Network for Journalists-Uganda (HRNJ-Uganda)

Plot 18, Block 12 Stensera Road Kayanja Triangle Zone
P.O.BOX. 71314 Clock Tower Kampala. Tel: +256-414-272934 / +256-414-667627
E-mail: news@hrnjuganda.org / humanrajournalists@yahoo.co.uk /

Website: http://www.hrnjuganda.org ;BLOG: http://hrnjuganda.blogpost.com

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About Human Rights Network For Journalists-Uganda

HRNJ-Uganda was established in 2005 by a group of human rights-minded journalists who developed a sense of activism amidst a deteriorating context due to glaring abuses targeting the media. The network gained formal registration as an independent non-profit and non-partisan media organisation in 2006. The identity of HRNJ-Uganda lies with its diverse membership across the board including the print and electronic media, freelance investigative journalists and individuals from other professions.
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