Saturday, February 07, 2009

Southern Eye journalist Peter Kuot was beaten and arrested by Jonglei State police for investigating mass detention of youths by police last month

From Bor (Bor Globe) Jonglei State News by Peter Kuot Ngong 7 February 2009:
Stop harassing journalists – Governor

The Deputy Governor of Jonglei State H.E Hussein Mar Nyot has strongly warned the public against ill treatment of journalists in the State.

“Stop abusing journalists. Stop harassing them. Allow them to get the information that they need.” Mr. Mar told the public in a rally that was conducted here in Bor Town.

Mr. Mar whom also doubles, as Jonglei State Minister for Local Government deserves all the responsibilities to order for execution of any new law that the State devises to improve on her affairs. His (Mar) warning was mainly directed towards the security forces of the Jonglei State especially the Police who on several cases have been caught red-handed in journalists’ abuse.

While speaking to the public in the rally, Mr. Hussein Mar described journalists’ harassment as behaviors of the National Congress Party (NCP) and should not be copied and pasted to the Jonglei State. “Harassing journalists is a behavior of the National Congress Party. Don’t bring here.” He said while adding that “…give journalists the information that they need, but only be careful of what you say. If journalist reports wrong information about you then take him to the court of law and not to beat him. That is unlawful.” Mr. Governor stressed much telling the rally.

The Deputy Governor strong warning came after the Southern Eye Journalist (Peter Kuot) was beaten and arrested by Police while trying to investigate the reason that led to the mass detention of youth by Police last month in the Jonglei Capital. The police aggression on youth attracted attention of the Human Right activists from the Government of Southern Sudan to investigate the matter. However, the Jonglei State Government wasn’t aware of the police operation that day seriously condemned it and ordered the State Police Commissioner Maj. Gen. Riak Akon to investigate and arrest those who were involved in the operation.

As the first to release such a strong speech in favor of media, Mr. Mar’s statements have seriously impacted Jonglei communities and Government Stakeholders from that moment of the rally and now the journalists are experiencing better treatment in the State.

In his speech published on the Sudan Tribune, Mr. Mar Nyuot also gave “a go-head” to the police to handle misdeeds responsibly, but not the way it was carried out last month.

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