South Sudan security forces have arrested seven people who include a top religious figure as rights groups warn of a widening restriction on critics of the South Sudanese government.
The arrests, which police denied, come ahead of planned nationwide protests which have been organized by the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) who are asking the country’s leadership to step down.
The seven were arrested because of links to the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA) said Jame David Kolok, chairperson of the South Sudan Civil Society Forum.
The activists were arrested in different parts of the country.
The authorities “are accusing both the activists and the bishop of having possession of information that is attributed to the (PCCA) coalition”, said Kolok.
The spokesman for South Sudan police denied allegations of the arrests of the activists.
“We have not arrested anybody,” said Major General Daniel Justine.
The spokesman added that the protests were illegal and warned the police will “take legal measures” against anyone who defies the protest ban.
South Sudan got its independence from Sudan in 2011 and is the worlds newest nation.
By Shadrack Mogaka