Tag Archives: South Sudan

South Sudan: Prison Standoff in South Sudan’s Blue House

October 7, 2018

This undated photo shows prisoners sitting together at the central prison in the capital Juba, South Sudan. A new Amnesty International report accuses authorities in South Sudan of torturing people to death in detention and letting many others languish.

Prisoners in South Sudan’s notorious Blue House say about 200 of them broke into a store in the prison where weapons are kept early Sunday morning local time and are holding two “unharmed” prison guards hostage, demanding the government provide prisoners with due process.

The prisoners say they “do not want to fight, we just want our voice to be heard” and add they have no intention of firing back at South Sudanese military and national security personnel who have surrounded the prison.

No fatalities have been reported, although one prisoner was shot below his left knee during a scuffle that broke out when the prisoners took control of the prison.

Safety ‘very relative’

“Safety now is very relative, we are now in a situation where we don’t know what may happen,” said Peter Biar Ajak, an academic who was arrested at the Juba International Airport in late July.

Biar is unarmed and said he is hiding in a bunker along with other unarmed civilians in the prison known as the Blue House for its blue-tinted windows.

“What we are hoping for is that the government of South Sudan is able to resolve this and is able to negotiate to those who have taken this decision to resort to this kind of armed protest,” Biar said.

https://www.voanews.com/a/prison-standoff-in-south-sudan-blue-house/4603052.html

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66386

https://www.varsity.co.uk/features/15970

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/10/south-sudan-juba-prison-revolt-underscores-deep-problems-in-justice-system/?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=quote&utm_term=U291dGggU3&utm_campaign=social

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66385

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66361

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66391

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/south-sudan-s-first-vice-president-optimistic-about-peace-but-no-one-is-buying-it

http://www.africanews.com/2018/10/08/south-sudan-gov-t-regains-control-of-juba-prison/

https://www.change.org/p/freedom-for-peter-biar-ajak (SIGN THE PETITION!)

http://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-motin-centro-detencion-pleno-corazon-yuba-20181007094429.html (ESPANOL)

We understand the standoff has been resolved. Peter has not been released. We are awaiting confirmation on his condition and remain concerned. #FreePeterBiar unharmed.‬

(Free Peter Biar Facebook, 8/10/18)

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South Sudan: In Solidarity with Peter Biar Ajak

September 28, 2018

TWO MONTHS. Peter Biar Ajak friend, father, husband, and peace advocate remains unconstitutionally jailed in #SouthSudan. Stand in solidarity with Peter! Share messages of love and support under #DearPeterBiar or email directly to info@FreePeterBiar.com until we #FreePeterBiar.

(Free Peter Biar Facebook, 28/09/18)

TOMORROW! COME JOIN US in NYC after work at 5:30 as we March4Freedom, March4 #FreePeterBiar. Want to know what kind of work Peter Biar Ajak was doing to promote peace and unity in South Sudan? Wrestling for Peace illustrates one of many ways Peter Biar Ajak has helped the youth of South Sudan unite around peace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoZI49yKTpU

(Free Peter Biar Facebook, 27/09/18)

South Sudan/USA: March 4 Freedom. March 4 Peter #FreePeterBiar

September 25, 2018

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4 DAYS until we March4 #FreePeterBiar. The youth of South Sudan rely on mentors like Peter. His many efforts, sacrifices and pleas for peace have lead him to a jail cell, without charges, without trial, and without answers. He remains there today. Help us free him. STAND with @freepeterbiar THIS Friday in NYC during the UN General Assembly at 5:30 PM.
www.tinyurl.com/March4PeterNYC#lasalleuniv #explorersareneverlost #harvard#harvardkennedyschool #southsudan#TUTUFELLOWS #africanunion #unga #UNGA2018

(Free Peter Biar Facebook, 26/09/18)

https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/play/p06k99zl

https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/media/audio-channel/40-free-peter-biar

https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/15954

South Sudan/USA: March for freedom, march to #FreePeterBiar NYC September 28

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Friday, September 28, 2018 at 5:30 PM – 8 PM EDT
Dag Hammarskjold Plaza E. 47 St. and First Ave.

9 DAYS until we will make sure our request to #FreePeterBiarunharmed, is heard before South Sudan, neighboring countries, and the United Nations during the U.N. General Assembly. Please join us as we raise our voices to free Peter Biar Ajak.

Join us as we stand in solidarity with Peter Biar Ajak, friend, father, husband, and peace advocate, who has been unconstitutionally jailed in South Sudan since 28 July. By South Sudanese law, he is only allowed to be detained for two days before appearing in court or being granted bail. He has been afforded neither.

Peter is currently being held at the notorious South Sudanese prison known as the Blue House. His friends at universities, human rights institutions, media organizations and others around the world are calling for his immediate and unconditional release. Over 64,000 people have signed the change.org petition asking South Sudan to release Peter.

Meet us at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza E. 47 St. and First Ave. (directly across the street from the U.N. Headquarters in NYC) on Friday, September 28 at 5:30pm to stand with Peter and all others who are being detained without cause.

Call on President Kiir and the South Sudanese government to release Peter Biar Ajak unharmed as a sign of their commitment to peace in South Sudan. Allow Peter to resume his collaborative efforts in his country’s peace process!

For more information on Peter’s incredible journey and his detention, please click here. For information on how to get more involved, please email info@freepeterbiar.com or follow @FreePeterBiar on Twitter.

https://www.facebook.com/events/313300756145781/

(March for freedom, march to #FreePeterBiar NYC Facebook, 15/09/18)

https://www.facebook.com/FreePeterBiar/?__tn__=HHH-R

https://tinyurl.com/freepeterbiarajak (SIGN THE URGENT PETITION!)

https://augustareview.com/news24-com-us-ambassador-demands-release-of-south-sudan-activist/

http://www.gurtong.net/ECM/Editorial/tabid/124/ctl/ArticleView/mid/519/articleId/21582/Amnesty-International-Arbitrary-Arrests-Torture-Of-Detainees-Despite-Repeated-Promises.aspx

http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2018/sep/05/report-claims-detainees-ill-treated-in-/

South Sudan/UK: Vice-chancellor calls on South Sudan to release Cambridge PhD student from political detention

September 7, 2018

Peter Biar Ajak has been held in detention for over 40 days, and has yet to be informed of the reason for his arrest

More than four weeks after Cambridge PhD student and activist Peter Biar Ajak was arrested by South Sudanese security officials, Cambridge Vice-chancellor Stephen Toope has sent a letter to the country’s president, labelling the detention as unconstitutional.

The letter, sent on Tuesday 4th September to President Salva Kiir Mayardit through the country’s permanent mission to the United Nations, criticised South Sudan’s actions as being in violation of its own constitutional provisions for due process and freedom of expression.

In the letter, Toope wrote that “the University is deeply concerned about Peter’s welfare, his access to legal representation and the violation of his rights in accordance with the Constitution of South Sudan”.

Toope has further urged the government to “either release Peter Biar Ajak, or to bring charges against him in a timely manner in accordance with the rule of law and to grant him access to a lawyer”, adding to calls from human rights groups and foreign embassies in South Sudan.

The detention of Peter Biar Ajak – a prominent activist and the first South Sudanese citizen to attend Cambridge – was met with swift international outcry following his arbitrary arrest on 28th July by the South Sudanese National Security Service (NSS).

Ajak is currently being held at the NSS headquarters in Juba, the country’s capital, and has not yet been informed of the reason for his arrest.

https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/16062

https://africatimes.com/2018/09/05/amnesty-calls-for-release-of-ajak-south-sudanese-prisoners/

https://www.change.org/p/freedom-for-peter-biar-ajak (PLEASE SIGN URGENT PETITION!)

https://www.amnesty.fr/presse/soudan-du-sud-en-dpit-de-promesses-rptes-les-arres (FRANCAIS)

http://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-amnistia-acusa-fuerzas-sudan-sur-torturas-detenciones-arbitrarias-malos-tratos-20180904175457.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.domradio.de/themen/weltkirche/2018-09-04/bericht-behoerden-des-suedsudan-foltern-und-toeten-kritiker (DEUTSCH)

https://www.amnesty.nl/actueel/zuid-sudan-opsluiten-en-martelen-van-tegenstanders-gaat-toch-door-2 (NEDERLANDS)

https://www.nieuwsblad.be/cnt/dmf20180904_03700935 (VLAAMS)

http://pt.rfi.fr/africa/20180904-ai-denuncia-novas-violacoes-dos-direitos-humanos-no-sudao-do-sul (PORTUGUES)

#FreePeterBiarAjak

#FreeSamuelDongLuak

South Sudan: Free S. Sudan political prisoners, rights groups tell Salva Kiir

August 27, 2018

The South Sudanese government under President Salva Kiir is under fresh pressure to release all of the political detainees.

 

Human rights groups say this will guarantee certainty to a peace deal he signed recently with his nemesis Riek Machar.

 

Last week, Juba’s Information ministry announced the government had released 21 political prisoners as part of the implementation of the new peace agreement.

 

Their identities were not released to the public.

 

But the rights groups say hundreds more continue to be held without trial and are not allowed visits from their families and lawyers.

 

CIVIL LIBERTIES

Human Rights Watch (HRW) in their latest status report says the release of the detainees should be followed with stronger guarantees for civil liberties as well as freeing of any other people who still detained.

 

HRW has specifically called for the release of activists Samuel Dong Luak, Aggrey Idri and James Gatdet Dak, once a spokesman for Dr Machar, all known critics of Mr Kiir’s regime who were deported from Nairobi two years ago.

 

Also in detention is Dr Peter Biar Ajak, a frequent commentator on NTV AM Live show and chairman of the South Sudan Young Leaders Forum.

 

Dr Ajak was arrested in July at the Juba airport after authorities approached him with an arrest warrant.

 

https://www.nation.co.ke/news/africa/Kiir-under-pressure-free-political-detainees/1066-4731170-pu0ma3/index.html

https://www.voanews.com/a/kiir-gives-amnesty-to-opposition-groups/4522014.html

https://www.theigc.org/person/peter-biar-ajak/

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/01/23/south-sudan-year-two-mens-whereabouts-unknown

http://concernedscientists.org/2018/08/student-and-community-activist-arrested-in-south-sudan/

http://www.southsudannation.com/condemning-kiirs-unlawful-arrest-of-peter-biar-ajak-now-in-juba-blue-house-den-of-lions/

https://www.change.org/p/freedom-for-peter-biar-ajak (SIGN THE URGENT PETITION!)

#FreePeterBiarAjak

#FreeSamuelDongLuak

South Sudan: Friends say Philly-educated peace activist Peter Biar Ajak has been charged with treason in South Sudan

August 17, 2018

Ajak was one of at least 20,000 children who were dubbed the 'lost boys' of Sudan after they were separated from their families during the country's second civil war [Image provided by Aaron Spence]

Friends of the imprisoned international peace activist Peter Biar Ajak, who was seized and held without charges in his homeland of South Sudan, say he now has been charged with treason-related offenses by the government.

Ajak, 34, has been outspoken in his criticism of the country’s repressive regime.

Now a well-known scholar and speaker on East Africa, he had come to Philadelphia as a teenage refugee in January 2001, one of 40,000 “Lost Boys” left homeless by the violence and brutality of civil war in Sudan. He graduated from Central High School and La Salle University, earned a master’s degree at Harvard, and was completing a doctorate at Cambridge University in England at the time of his arrest.

Among the charges are concealing treason, publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to South Sudan, and an offense that covers insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism, according to a charging document.

The maximum sentence for concealing treason is 20 years in prison.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/peter-biar-ajak-south-sudan-lost-boy-blue-house-treason-20180817.html

https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/08/09/south-sudan-release-peace-activist

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66020

https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/peace-efforts-south-sudan-arrests-activist-peter-biar-ajak-180814133528096.html

http://www.gurtong.net/ECM/Editorial/tabid/124/ctl/ArticleView/mid/519/articleId/21555/Sudd-Institute-Calls-For-Release-of-Peter-Biar-Ajak.aspx

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/south-sudan-must-end-the-arbitrary-detention-of-peter-biar-ajak

Welcome to Independent South Sudan Peter Biar Ajak: We Pray for You and Our Country

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/peter-biar-ajak-sudan-lost-boys-philadelphia-activist-jail-20180810.html

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/la-salle-grad-lost-boy-philadelphia-biar-ajak-detained-south-sudan-activist-civil-war-prison-20180730.html

http://www.gurtong.net/ECM/Editorial/tabid/124/ID/21557/Default.aspx

https://www.newsweek.com/us-senators-call-release-harvard-activist-detained-south-sudan-officials-1055531

http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article66003

https://www.metro.us/news/local-news/philadelphia/peter-biar-ajak-lost-boy-philly-jailed-south-sudan

https://www.varsity.co.uk/features/15970

https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/15954

https://www.change.org/p/freedom-for-peter-biar-ajak (PLEASE SIGN URGENT PETITION!)

https://www.freepeterbiar.org/

https://www.facebook.com/pg/FreePeterBiar/about/?ref=page_internal

@FreePeterBiar

http://www.agenceafrique.com/13362-soudan-du-sud-hrw-exige-la-liberation-du-defenseur-des-droits-de-lhomme-peter-biar-ajak.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.voaafrique.com/a/les-etats-unis-r%C3%A9clament-la-lib%C3%A9ration-d-un-activiste-au-soudan-du-sud/4510816.html (FRANCAIS)

http://www.lequotidien.lu/international/soudan-du-sud-arrestation-de-peter-biar-ajak-eminent-defenseur-des-droits-de-lhomme/ (FRANCAIS)

https://lemonde-arabe.fr/03/08/2018/soudan-du-sud-peter-biar-ajak/ (FRANCAIS)

http://www.europapress.es/internacional/noticia-detenido-sudan-sur-destacado-economista-detractor-kiir-machar-20180731173246.html (ESPANOL)

https://www.nzz.ch/international/suedsudans-verlorene-kinder-misstrauen-dem-frieden-ld.1409112 (DEUTSCH)

http://www.nigrizia.it/notizia/impunita-minacciosa (ITALIANO)

https://extra.globo.com/noticias/mundo/presidente-do-sudao-do-sul-concede-anistia-ex-vice-outros-rebeldes-22962949.html (PORTUGUES)