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Sudan14 October 2008

South Sudan newspaper editor released

Nhial Bol, the editor of the English-language daily The Citizen, was released on 12 October after being held in Malakia police station in the southern capital of Juba for three days. He appears to be accused of libel and publishing false information although no formal charges have so been brought and no date has been set for a trial.

“We are waiting for the case to be taken before a court,” Reporters Without Borders said.

13.10 - Editor of South Sudan newspaper arrest on eve of weekend

Reporters Without Borders calls for the release of Nhial Bol, the editor of the English-language daily The Citizen, who was arrested on 10 October in Juba, the capital of semi-autonomous South Sudan, because of an article about corruption in the south.

“The South Sudan authorities acted in an illegal and unscrupulous fashion by arresting this journalist just before the weekend, so that he would not be able to request release on bail,” Reporters Without Borders said. “If the government thought it was libelled by an article in the newspaper, it should have respected the law and justice by bringing a civil lawsuit.”

Arrested on the morning of 10 October, Bol was taken to Malakia police station in Juba. He has reportedly been charged with libel and “disseminating false information” by the South Sudan authorities in connection with an article in the 7 October issue about high salaries paid to justice ministry officials.

Reached by Reporters Without Borders the day after his arrest, Bol said that, instead of throwing him in prison, the government should have sued his newspaper before a court, as it was a civil matter. “They are trying to cover up their behaviour,” he said.

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