Calls for release of journalists arrested over ’embarrassing’ Salva Kiir video
The Union of Journalists of South Sudan is calling for the release of six journalists who are being detained in connection to a viral video that showed President Salva Kiir wetting himself during an official event.
Similar calls have been made by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The journalists, who were arrested on Tuesday after the video went viral, are all employees of South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC).
In the video that was shot by the country’s national broadcaster, the 71-year-old president appears to be urinating on himself at the ceremony before the camera abruptly pans away.
The journalists being detained are control room director Joval Tombe, editor Victor Lado, and camera operator and technicians Mustafa Osman, Jacob Benjamin, Oliver Wani and Cherbek Reuben.
On Friday, CPJ reported that six journalists had been arrested by the country’s National Security Service under suspicion of an unauthorised release of the footage.
President Kiir has been South Sudan’s president since 2011 when the country gained independence from Sudan.
The country was due to hold it’s first elections since independence early this year, but the polls have since been postponed to December 2024.