- Written/Submitted by Josesph Othow Kuichkon
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The SPLA Spokesman in Juba denied that there was an arrest in Wadakona and described the report of the SPLM-DC on the arrests as "lies". The two comrades were severely beaten and subjected to severe torture. The interrogation was conducted by a Lt Madut Mayar Mayak who hails from Yirol. Some days later Dak Ali Oboy was transferred to Renk (across the river) for medical treatment of the wounds he has sustained under torture. Up to now he is still under detention and the SPLA authorities in Renk continue to deny his arrest even to the UNMIS raising fears that they may be intent on taking his life. Under pressure from UNMIS, the authorities in Wadakona released Joseph Othow on the 15th who later found his way to Khartoum. On Sunday the 19th, he held a press conference to relate his ordeal. Here is what he said."
"I thank the Comrade who spoke before me and I thank the media and all here present with all your titles. Today, I came to prove that what was said that the SPLM-DC was telling lies about our arrest is the lie itself, and also to tell you that we were tortured.
My name is JOSEPH OTHOW KUICHKON. I am one of those arrested in Wadakona. We were arrested on 3/7/2009 at one o'clock in the afternoon, me and Dak Ali Oboy, in the market place. The arrest was effected by the SPLA military police led by a Lieutenant. Dak was arrested before me. We were kept at the military section. Then they took us to the river where they started interrogating us starting with brother Dak Ali Oboy. They asked me the following three questions: what do you know about Dr Lam Akol? What do you know about the SPLM since five months ago? Did you bring in arms to fight the Commissioner?
My answer to the first question was that I know Dr Lam Akol as a leading SPLM member and a Statesman and is always in the news. As to the SPLM, I told them that it is a partner in the Government. I categorically rejected knowing anything about arms and that I had no intention to fight the Commissioner. Then they charged me for being a member of the SPLM-DC and that I was in the intelligence and had brought in more than 400 different types of arms to Wadakona. I told them that I was a Government official in Wadakona and cannot be in the intelligence or bring any arms. As to being a member of the SPLM-DC, I answered in the affirmative. They reacted by threatening me several times to "speak well". I stuck to my story and told them that it was the truth. I was then taken to a solitary detention at about 9:00 pm where they tied my arms with a nylon rope for half an hour (here are the scars) asking me again about the arms. I told them I did not know anything about that. They then began to torture me using electric shocks, tied my eyes with a piece of cloth and returned me to the place I was kept in at the beginning. They untied my arms at about 4:00 am. After that the Commandant of the prison came in and asked me about the charge against me. I told him the charges above.
Dak Ali was faced with the same charges. He told us that these measures were undertaken by the military intelligence and that we were going to be released later. They came back again and asked me about my responsibility in taking arms there. I insisted that I have no responsibility on that whatsoever. We were under interrogation for four days. They then returned me to the prison and transferred my colleague Dak to Renk for medical treatment. I spent thirteen (13) days under detention. After that they sent me a police car. The police colonel told me that they had nothing to do with the matter and that orders came from above, adding that there was no evidence to the charges leveled against us and that we can be released. The Police Commandant made it clear that the Commissioner had ordered that any supporter of Dr Lam Akol be arrested. Then both of us went to the Commissioner who told me in the presence of the Police Commandant the following: "any politician must go to jail. You know for how long did Turabi stay in jail. We have orders that anybody supporting Dr Lam Akol must be arrested." Thereafter, the Commissioner confirmed that he was the one who issued the order of our arrest. He then ordered for my release. He tried hard to prevent my coming to Khartoum. Only after I produced the medical transferal certificate that I was able to come.
In conclusion, I call for:
The release of Dak Ali Oboy who is still under detention and is unable even to hold a spoon as a result of horrendous torture. He is in the prison of the SPLA in Renk.
The Human Rights organizations to stand up to their responsibilities and observe the situation in Wadakona and the South in general very closely. This is necessary to stop the current excesses and also to confirm the facts on the ground because the SPLA continues to deny the presence of any person in their jails.
I thank you for your patience." END.
Josesph Othow Kuichkon.
Sunday, 19 July 2009.
General HQ, SPLM-DC.
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