AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Two Presbyterian pastors illegally detained since May 19

Friday, 7 June 2013

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - Two pastors of the Presbyterian Church have been held since 19 May by the authorities of South Sudan, that prevent any contact with the detainees’ relatives and their lawyers.
This was revealed by Amnesty International that fears that the two men, Rev. Idris Nalos Kida and Pastor David Gayin, may be subjected to beatings and torture.
Amnesty International reports the statement of some witnesses, according to whom on May 19 at 8 pm the police entered Rev. Kida’s home by force, firing several shots into the air. The Reverend was allegedly beaten and then arrested. The police seized mobile phones, computers and documents.
Then at 10 p.m. the police broke into Pastor Gayin’s house and arrested him.
It is not known on what charges the two Pastors were arrested or the place where they are detained. The Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan prohibits to detain a person beyond 24 hours without the permission of a court.
The arrest and imprisonment of the two religious is illegal, says Amnesty International and calls on the authorities in Juba either to present a formal accusation against them or, otherwise, to release them immediately.
The Presbyterian Church is the third largest religious community in South Sudan. For a long time the security forces of South Sudan have been accused of arbitrary arrests of journalists, civil society activists and political opponents. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 07/06/2013)