Home | News    Friday 3 August 2018

U.S. ambassador calls to release South Sudanese activist

August 2, 2018 (JUBA) - The United States Ambassador to Juba Friday joined calls to release Peter Biar Ajak a South Sudanese activist who has been detained since Monday increasing pressures on the government which remains silent on the reason of his arrest.

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Thomas Hushek (US Department of State)

Ajak was arrested on 30 July at Juba airport by the security agents without charges. The activist is known for his anti-war activism as he sought to mobilize civil society groups against the continuation of nearly five-year armed conflict in the country.

Ambassador Thomas Hushek made his call after a meeting with the South Sudanese Justice Minister Paulino Wanawilla to discuss justice implementation under The Agreement on the Resolution of The Conflict In the Republic of South Sudan of August 2015.

"We are asking for his release and for more information about really what the case has been about," said Hushek in statements to the media after meeting.

Biar family said the South Sudan National Security Service refused to allow them and the lawyer to meet Biar who is arrested at its premises in Juba.

Minister Wanawilla, for his part, said the meeting tackled issues pertaining to the justice under the transitional period.

"We are waiting for information from the arresting authority," he when asked about Ajak before to add "But obviously any arrest has a reason behind it," without further details.

In Washington, U.S. Senator of New Jersey, Bon Menendez joined U.S. Senators. Cory Booker, Chris Coons and Bob Casey in their call for Peter Biar release.

"Peter Biar Ajak’s detention without charge by the South Sudanese govt is part of a pattern of using security services to harass, intimidate & detain critics. Freedom of expression & personal liberty is guaranteed in their constitution - S. Sudan must release him," said Senator Menendez.

Ajak arrest sheds the light on the bad record of human rights violations in term of political repression and arrest of political and civil society activist.

Until recently UN and rights groups focused on the war crimes and atrocities committed in the conflict-affected areas by the South Sudanese soldiers.

(ST)