This statement was originally published on africafex.org on 1 August 2016.
Prominent South Sudanese journalist and Editor-in-Chief of the Juba Monitor newspaper, Alfred Taban who was arrested by the National Security Service (NSS) has been granted bail after two weeks in detention.
The arrest of Alfred Taban by agents of the NSS was reported to be linked to the publication of an opinion piece in which he called for the removal of President Salva Kiir and the First-Vice President, Riek Machar. The publication accused both leaders of failure to work together to resolve the conflict situation in South Sudan.
Following an outcry by the local and international community, including a statement issued by the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX), calling on the South Sudanese authorities to release the Editor-in-Chief of the Juba Monitor, Alfred Taban was granted bail on July 29, 2016.
According AFEX's source in South Sudan, although Alfred Taban has been released on bail, he still faces charges of “publishing or communicating false information to Southern Sudan” and “undermining the authority of or insulting the president” under Articles 75 & 76 of the Penal Code 2008.
AFEX commends the South Sudanese authorities for releasing Alfred Taban on bail. We, however, appeal to the country's authorities to drop all charges against Alfred Taban, as he was expressing his opinion about issues of national concern in accordance with Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
Africa Freedom of Information Centre
Center for Media Studies & Peace Building
Human Rights Network for Journalists - Uganda
Journaliste en danger
Media Institute of Southern Africa
Media Rights Agenda
National Union of Somali Journalists
West African Journalists Association