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VOA Statement on Arrest of VOA Freelance Journalist in Juba, South Sudan

VOA freelance journalist, Diing Magot
VOA freelance journalist, Diing Magot

We are extremely distressed by the arrest of Diing Magot, a VOA freelance journalist for our English to Africa language service on our South Sudan in Focus program, over this past weekend. Magot was covering a protest over the hardships and skyrocketing commodity prices there. She was arrested alongside the protestors in Konyokonyo Market, as she did not have her ID or press card with her, and she was initially detained at the Malakia police station. To obtain her release, the South Sudan Media Authority demanded a letter from VOA, confirming she is our freelance journalist and she was there on assignment. We have provided the letter to the Media Authority, and we had expected word of her immediate release. However, according to a lawyer with the South Sudan Union of Journalists, Diing Magot and five protesters were relocated to Juba Central Prison. Magot is waiting for a court date. We are asking South Sudan authorities for the immediate release of our journalist.