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AI Demands Release of ‘Hidden’ Church Leaders

Author : | Published: Friday, June 7, 2013

A Church building in Juba

Human rights group Amnesty International is urging South Sudan to reveal the whereabouts of two members of the Presbyterian Church who were arrested at their Juba homes on 19th May.

In a press release, AI says the Reverend Idris Nalos Kida and Pastor Trainee David Gayin are being detained incommunicado, without access to a lawyer or their family, and are at risk of torture or other forms of ill-treatment.

The group urged the government to grant the two men immediate access to their families, lawyers, and any medical treatment they may require, and to either charge them with a recognizable criminal offence or immediately release them.

Eye Radio spoke to the Minister of Interior, Alison Manani Magaya, and he says he is not aware of the arrest and detention of the two priests.

He also says he has not seen the press release from Amnesty International, which was copied to him and the Minister of Justice and Minister of Information and Broadcasting:

“I don’t know, I have not seen it. There are so many security organs; it is not only the police. So you better find out where they are. Yes, I am not aware.”

Article 19 of the Republic of South Sudan Transitional Constitution states that a suspect must be released on bail after 24 hours, unless a court decides they should be remanded in prison.

This is the second time that church leaders have disappeared from their homes in Juba.

On Easter Sunday, the Anglican Archbishop of Sudan and South Sudan, Doctor Daniel Deng Bul, announced that one of his priests went missing. His whereabouts remain unknown.

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