2nd April 2020
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Police arrest Journalist Christopher

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Thursday, February 27, 2020

The editor-in-chief of the suspended al-Watan daily Arabic newspaper , Michael Christopher who is being held at National Security Building in Juba - File Photo

Police in Juba says the editor of Al-Watan Arabic newspaper is in their custody for publishing an article that allegedly defamed the police force.

Michael Christopher, who got freedom after being arbitrarily kept by the National Security Service 6 months ago, was arrested and detained at Juba town police station on Wednesday.

According to Michael Christopher, he wrote an article in 2019 about blackmail and corruption in the police service of South Sudan.

He says the article talked about the involvement of three police officers in the killing of a Sudanese national named Abdulatif Ahmed Omar.

The suspects were then arrested, charged and jailed for the crime.

He says the director of the criminal department in the former Jubek state then opened a case against him, accusing him of defaming the police force.

Christopher claims that he has been denied bail.

“The general who opened this case against me misused his position as director of criminal investigation department in Central Equatoria State,” Christopher told Eye Radio.

“He also ordered his personnel not to allow anybody to visit me. He also blocked the approval for bail.”

Related articles: Journalist Christopher released by NSS

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When contacted by Eye Radio, Police Spokesperson Maj.-Gen. Daniel Justin confirmed the case, but wondered why the journalist has been denied bail.

“This issue of bail is a right of any accused. No general has a right to block it,” Maj.-Gen. Justin.

South Sudan ranked 139 out of 180 countries on reporters without borders’ 2019 global press freedom index.

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