The government of South Sudan has imprisoned six journalists in connection with the circulation of a video footage showing President Salva Kiir wetting himself.
The six remained imprisoned at the National Security Service headquarters, known as Blue House, according to a statement by the Union of Journalists of South Sudan on Friday evening.
Patrick Oyet, the president of the South Sudan Union of Journalists, told Reuters that the journalists “are suspected of having knowledge on how the video of the president urinating himself came out”.
In the third week of December, a video appearing to show Kiir urinating on himself in public circulated on social media.
Though South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) claimed it did not broadcast the footage, the video still became public material. The incarcerated journalists are SSBC staff.
Michael Makuei, South Sudan’s information minister, admitted that the journalists were arrested but told Voice of America that people had to wait to know why they were detained.
“Authorities’ arrests of six employees of the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation matches a pattern of security personnel resorting to arbitrary detention whenever officials deem coverage unfavorable,” Muthoki Mumo, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) sub-Saharan Africa representative, said in an official statement Friday.