South Sudan President Salva Kiir photo

The South Sudanese government is coming under increasing amounts of pressure to free six journalists who were arrested after they were accused of spreading a video that showed President Salva Kiir peeing on himself.

It is believed that on January 3, the journalists who worked for the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation, which is administered by the state, were taken into custody.

It has been reported that they are being held in the headquarters of the National Security Service, also known as the Blue House.

The Council mandated to Protect Journalists has issued a statement demanding that the government immediately and unconditionally release the journalists and allow them to continue their job without interference.

Muthoki Mumo, a spokesman for the Council to Protect Journalists in sub-Saharan Africa, said that "the arrests of the staffers reflect a trend of security personnel resorting to arbitrary imprisonment" if authorities judge coverage to be unfavorable.

According to the continuation of the statement, "The staff should be allowed to work without the additional intimidation or fear of arrest."

According to reports, individuals who are being held captive include Victor Lado, who works as a camera operator; Joval Tombe, who directs operations in the control room; and Mustafa Osman, who works as a technician.

Also included are camera operators Joseph Oliver and Jacob Benjamin, as well as a control room technician named Cherbek Ruben.

The Union of Journalists of South Sudan has expressed similar worries and demanded that the probe be brought to a swift and efficient conclusion.

The statement that was signed by the president of the union, Oyet Patrick, read as follows: "If there is a prima facie case of professional misconduct or offense, then let authorities expedite an administrative or legal process to address the issue fairly, transparently, and in accordance with the law."

It has been reported that South Sudan's Minister of Information, Michael Makuei, declined to comment on the matter when Voice of America attempted to contact him about it. All he reportedly said was that "people should wait to learn why the journalists were detained."

During a public event that took place in the middle of the previous month, President Kiir, who is 71 years old and has held the position since 2011, urinated on himself as the national anthem was being performed.

The incident was seen in its entirety as it happened on live television.

It is believed that he is suffering from a urinary tract infection, which is a condition that is typical in men of advanced age.

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