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South Sudan releases Ugandan journalists after five days in detention

The South Sudan government has released two Ugandan journalists, Justin Dralaze and Hilary Ayesiga, after five days' incarceration. They were arrested on 27 July 2013. They were not charged, however their recorded materials were deleted.

An official message from their employers, Feature Story News (FSN) Headquarters in Washington DC confirmed the release of their reporters, "Feature Story News is happy to confirm that our reporting team has now been released by the authorities in South Sudan. We thank all those who have assisted us over the past five days and look forward now to getting back to work," wrote President and Chief Correspondent of FSN Simon Marks.

Marks added in an audio message that, “It's obviously been a very difficult few days for Justin and Hilary, and their driver who was detained alongside them, and we are very grateful to get them back. They are now returning to their families and will soon be back at work. And we are grateful to everyone in Juba and elsewhere who assisted in securing their release.”

Another source said that they were now headed to the airport in the company of some Ugandan officials, “Just talked to their lawyer. They're heading to the airport now (should actually be there) with Ugandan embassy officials and are booked on the 4 o'clock flight to Entebbe. They were released without any charges, but they were required to delete the footage they filmed in Juba.”

“We are glad that our colleagues have finally been released, and grateful to all those who have played any role during this difficult period. It's sad however that the journalists were forced to delete all their materials. It was a violation of the journalists' rights to be detained in a military base,” said HRNJ-Uganda's National Coordinator, Geoffrey Wokulira Ssebaggala.

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