HRW urges South Sudan to free detained journalist
Human Rights Watch (HRW) is calling upon authorities in South Sudan to release journalist it says has been arbitrarily detained.
The rights group released a call to action on Thursday, urging South Sudan to release Emmanuel Monychol Akop, the managing editor of The Dawn newspaper. Monychol was initially detained on 21 October after he answered a summons to appear in court and has remained in detention since 4 November following a second summons during his bail period.
HRW calls for journalist release
“Emmanuel Monychol’s detention is just the latest act of harassment by South Sudanese authorities in response to criticism or perceived dissent,” said Mausi Segun, Africa director at Human Rights Watch, in a statement. “The authorities should immediately release him unless he has been charged with a recognizable offence.”
HRW says “credible sources” told the rights groups that Monychol’s arrest was related to a Facebook post published on 15 October, in which he mocked the clothing of foreign affairs and international cooperation minister, Awut Deng Achuil.
“Monychol’s detention appears to be part of a broader crackdown by South Sudanese authorities to silence criticism by the media, nongovernmental groups, opposition parties, and National Assembly members,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.
“This has led to self-censorship in which human rights activists, journalists, critics of the government, and ordinary people no longer feel safe to speak freely and openly about topics deemed controversial.”
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