Lakes governor orders trial of jailed teachers

Lakes State Governor Gen. Rin Tueny Mabor has ordered the state minister of education to produce six teachers who had been transferred to Rumbek Central prison before a court of law, a local official said.

The six teachers initially detained at the Panda military barracks in Rumbek since mid-June were transferred to Rumbek Central prison last week without due court process.

Over 30 teachers from various secondary and primary schools in Rumbek were arrested after a strike. The striking teachers rejected their January and February salary arrears that did not reflect the 100 per cent increment in their salaries.

Last month, more than 30 teachers were released, but six remained behind bars.

William Koji Kirjok, the Acting Minister of Information in Lakes State, told Radio Tamazuj on Friday that the state governor had ordered the minister of education, Nelson Makur, to take the six teachers to court for trials.

"The right procedures are being taken, and this is a starting point to court; soon, they will be produced before the court. They were supposed to appear before the court on Thursday last week, but it was delayed because the minister of education was in Wau, but now he has arrived," he said.

Kirjok also stated that the Director of Administration and Finance in the Ministry of Education would represent the case on behalf of the government.

"The cashiers and account controllers who were alleged to have been robbed and were about to be beaten by the six teachers are the ones to be in the court with the teachers, and not the minister of education," Kirjok added.

Kirjok said the state government would not release the six teachers without trials.

Meanwhile, Daniel Laat, a civil society activist in Lakes State, said: "I have been saying that there is no that trust because we also doubt the justice system. The justice system cannot be fair because the same government is taking them to its court. The best thing is for the state government to release the teachers."

Laat appealed to human rights teams to intervene and hire firm lawyers to defend the jailed teachers before the court. He described the arrest and detention of the teachers who were demanding their rights as unlawful.

Source: Radio Tamazuj

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