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South Sudan Releases Detained Ugandan Journalists

Two Ugandan journalists and their fixer were detained in South Sudan for four days for reportedly filming without permission in the country's capital.

The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) held two visiting Ugandan journalists, Hillary Ayesiga and Justin Dralaze, and their South Sudanese fixer and driver, Sunday David Tut. They were released on July 31, 2013 but banned from entering the country.

Reporters Without Borders reported that the three were arrested on the airport road in Juba on 27 July, supposedly for filming along the road without permission. After their arrest, they were reportedly taken to National Security Headquarters, disreputable for the appalling conditions.

Ayesiga was on assignment in Juba for independent broadcast agency Feature Story News (FSN) of the United States to  to “cover the security and political situation after President Salva Kiir’s decision to fire his entire cabinet on 23 July and impose a curfew in the capital,” according to Reporters Without Borders. Tut works for the South Sudanese radio station Liberty FM.

Throughout the journalists’ detention, Ugandan journalists and media workers took on to Twitter to send a message to South Sudan President Salva Kirr, launching a campaign using the hashtag #FreeUgandaJournos to call for their release.

Rosebell Kagumire (@RosebellK) appealed to the Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi to talk to the president of South Sudan:

Qatahar Raymond (@qataharraymond), a Ugandan journalist, made a plea with Ugandans to support the cause:

Javie Ssozi (@jssozi), a new media consultant, called for more support:

Blogger Maureen Agena (@maureenagena) wrote:

She added:

Rosebell Kagumire (@RosebellK) called for support to have the journalists released:

Grace Natabaalo (@Natabaalo), a Ugandan media consultant, announced their release:

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