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South Sudanese journalist George Livio Bahara released after almost 3 years in prison

George Livio Bahara
George Livio Bahara

UNMISS

This statement was originally published by AMDISS on 30 May 2017.

AMDISS welcomes the release of George Livio Bahara from detention.

George Livio Bahara – a Radio Miraya journalist – was arrested on August 22nd, 2014 in Wau, the capital of former Western Bahr el Ghazal State, where he was based. He was brought to Juba and placed in detention at the National Security cell. He was released on Thursday, May 25th, 2017 without charges, after nearly three years behind bars.

AMDISS has been very loud in calling for the release of George Livio to create a conducive atmosphere for the participation of journalists in the national dialogue. This was the reason why AMDISS felt it would not be appropriate if its representative is part of the national dialogue's steering committee representing the media; yet some journalists and media houses are still held up by the authorities.

The association would like to thank the authorities – particularly the president – for partly responding positively to our calls for the release of journalists by setting free George Livio Bahara this month and John Pantheer earlier in April.

AMDISS however, is still concerned with the continued closure of the following media houses; the Nation Mirror Newspaper, The Citizen Newspaper, Al-Rai Newspaper, Al-Taabeer Newspaper and Free Voice.

We reiterate the call for the re-opening of the above media houses and appeal the government to allow the media to do its work freely. All media related complaints should be channeled through the Media Authority, which should act within the media laws.

The media has a key role to play, especially during this crucial time when the country is entering into national dialogue. The dialogue has started with the launch and the swearing in of the steering committee to ensure freedom of expression, access to information and adherences to good governance, and building sense of accountability.

Alfred Taban
Chairperson, AMDISS
Office +211 (0) 955 807 807 [email protected]/ [email protected]

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