Civil Society in South Sudan Condemns Torture of Catholic Radio Journalists

The Official Logo of the Community Empowerment Organization (CEPO)/ Credit: CEPO

A civil society organization in South Sudan’s Lakes State has condemned the torture of three Catholic journalists linked to an artist who is involved in activism in the East-Central Africa country.

The journalists include the Director for Good News Radio of South Sudan’s Rumbek Catholic Diocese where the artist was allegedly set to record a song that condemns police brutality in the country.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, June 20, Community Empowerment organization (CEPO) condemned the arrest and torture of the journalists saying the act by the state police amounts to infringement on the freedom of expression.

“CEPO has learned that three Radio Good News staff including Station Director Marial Deng and an artist have become victims of police brutality in Lakes State. The police Operation accused Radio Good News music production studio to have allowed an artist to compose a song that condemns police brutality on civilians,” CEPO leadership said in a statement that was signed by the organization’s Lakes State Coordinator, Daniel Lat Kon.

They added, “CEPO Condemns continuous police brutality on civilians in Lakes State. This is a violation of constitutional rights and the right to freedom of expression.”


According to the national entity, Radio Good News Music Producer was picked up from work and taken to a police station where he was detained in connection to the alleged song.

“When the station director with the other three staff went to the police station to confirm the reason behind the detention of their staff… they were all subjected to serious tortured, kept in the bathroom and later released without charges,” the organization details.

“Police can't continue with such intimidation on innocent people in the state,” the leadership of CEPO says, and adds, “Police are not supposed to intimidate or torture citizen; their role is to provide protection of life and properties. We call upon the Lakes State Government headed by Acting Governor Hon. Poth Madit to quickly intervene. Those police must be held accountable for their actions against civilians.”

The organization has also demanded for “immediate release of the detained artist without condition.”

“This is the 3rd time that CEPO has registered cases of police brutality within the shortest period in the year,” the civil society reports.

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In an interview with ACI Africa Monday, June 21, Mr. Kon said the song that angered the police has not yet been released by the South Sudanese artist.

“I have not gotten the song, but I was told the song is not yet out; it was a song which is still being processed,” he said.