Police in Mundri East County of Western Equatoria state have arrested and held hostage a 13 year-old after her father escaped from police custody last year.
According to Sergent Nathania Baya who is the Crime Officer, the minor’s father had been in detention for failing to pay a compensation.
Sergent Baya also said the girl is innocent and that the police is using her to lure her father into another detention.
“The girl has nothing to do with the case. Her brother is the one who caused the problem when he damaged the eye of one of the soldiers in a dispute in the area,” Baya told Eye Radio.
Last year, the girl’s father Simon Leti was fined 1.5 million South Sudanese Pounds to compensate for the crime of his son who allegedly damaged the eye of a soldier during a fight.
The son in question fled to Juba and the Police were unable to arrest him, so they resorted to apprehend his father who pledged to pay the amount.
However, Leti had only managed to pay 400,000 South Sudanese Pounds, less than a third of the amount before he escaped from the police detention.
“This is the reason for the arrest of this 13-year-old girl. She still in prison. The complainant asked not to release her until her father or brother appeared,” the police officer.
Arbitrary arrest and detention of family members is a common practice in many customary laws across the country.
In September last, a 50-year-old woman was Yirol of Lakes State after her son, who was wanted for murder and cattle theft evaded arrest.
Nyanon Marial Aguek later took her own life at a military detention facility in Yirol West County.
When contacted by Eye Radio, the Commissioner of Mundri East County Commissioner Margaret Fozia called for the immediate release of the girl.
“I am calling the police to release the girl. She doesn’t committed any crime, it is the brother who did the vice so the police has right to search for father and the brother,” Margaret said.
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