Lakes State Commissioner of police Saed Abdulatif Chawulwa. [Gurtong/ Gabriel Mayom]
By Gabriel Mayom
RUMBEK, 02 May 2012 [Gurtong] – Major General Chawuol is said to have ordered his officers to arrest the female journalist and proceeded to storm the radio station when the station’s management resisted the arrest.
A source at the South Sudanese Ministry of Interior said Major General Lom was sent packing over what the Ministry termed “his bad relations with the media that could harm the government”.
The source added that a replacement will be named shortly.
Female journalist, Ayak Dhieu Apar was arrested in the Lakes State capital Rumbek on 15 May and later released for allegedly disrespecting the police as she conducted a live interview of the public.
Various callers to her programme on Rumbek 98 FM had heavily criticised the police for poor service delivery and disregard for the rule of law.
During the arrest, police informed the station’s acting radio manager Deng Meshack that they were acting on orders from the “high authorities”.
The Lakes State Minister of Information and Communication Charles Badiri Mayen condemned the incident and cautioned the police against intimidating the media.
Lakes State Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agencies
Benjamin Makuer Mabor has urged the media to remain calm as investigations into the incident continue.
“We appreciate the fundamental role of the media in development of our state. Equally, we have the right to protect the media and anyone found using his or her office to intimidate the freedom of the press will be removed from office. We are also asking the media to embrace responsible journalism”, said Makuer.
The radio station has hired six lawyers from Juba to handle case in court.