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South Sudan court sentences rights activist to two years in prison

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June 11, 2019 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese court Tuesday sentenced for two years of imprisonment South Sudanese rights activist and vocal critic Peter Biar who is indicted of spying after giving interviews to a foreign media.

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Peter Biar Ajak poses with Bishop Emeritus Paride Taban, on 7 April 2018 (ST Photo)

Biar who was arrested on 28 July 2018 was initially charged with national security-related offences after posting several tweets criticizing the peace process.

However in March 2019 he was accused with six others of orchestrating a riot at the National Security detention facility in Juba, the "Blue House" when armed inmates took two guards hostage on 7 October 2018.

The prosecution said Biar who at the time gave interview to Voice of America Radio from the prison disturbed peace and that his interviews amounted to espionage.

The court sided with prosecutors and sentenced Biar to two years in prison as the judge found him guilty of spying.

His lawyer, Ajak Mayol Bior, told reporters that his client was innocent and vowed to appeal the sentence. he further said the rule violates the constitutional right of freedom of expression.

During his interview from the Blue House with Voice of American Radio on 7 October 2018, the activist called on the government to negotiate with the detainees who organised the insurrection saying what they demand was to be tried or released.

(ST)

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  • 12 June 17:18, by Khent

    More despotism from this murderous regime.

    Peter Biar Ajak has literally done nothing wrong to warrant his detention and these absurd charges. The regime in Juba has generally targeted anyone opposed to its genocides, massacres, corruption, nepotism and incompetance...

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    • 12 June 17:32, by Khent

      ..and when you consider that this has largely been State-sanctioned, tribally-contigent -> you must also recognise the sectarian nature of it as well. Following Dr. John Garang De Mabior’s death, a campaign to target people from my area (Twic-East) seems to have been formulated and we saw this with the killing of Isaiah Diing Abraham and the detention of Majok D’Agot Atem.

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    • 13 June 14:31, by Midit Mitot

      Not fair enough, I,am doubting those judges whether they are professional Lawyers who knows their work.

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  • 12 June 22:55, by Kenyang ll

    Khent,
    I agreed. One really had hoped Gen. Salva Kiir, long time John Garang assistant/friend and Cde would return favor and put Garang’s children under his wing, just as Garang did to him.

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  • 12 June 22:59, by Kenyang ll

    .....Instead, Kiir like he had betrayed our good men who endured... would hand entire SPLM to old parasites who were sucking South Sudanese blood in Khartoum when the war was being fought saw Garang family as enemy, paying for grudges he long held against their father and circle.

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  • 12 June 23:03, by Kenyang ll

    .... It’s in desperation and shame that Garang own child would have to join power-hungry Dr. Riek Machar for a position and recognition.

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  • 12 June 23:10, by Kenyang ll

    ... Still, you Mading Bor people (in general) feel entitled to SPLM/A top leadership. Just imagine, out of vast Dinka sections/clans not to mention other tribes, your tiny section produced Majak Agoot and Nyadeng Garang (only Dinka) to eagerly unseat Kiir, amid ebb of celebrations of our Independence. Salva Kiir was patience long enough under Garang, don’t you think he should deserve same?

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  • 12 June 23:18, by Kenyang ll

    ... Shouldn’t your people at least wait and give others chance? Even so, I believe you (Twic) have no enemy among Dinka other than your own there, Bor, Bor.

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  • 12 June 23:25, by Kenyang ll

    For Isiah Abraham and many innocents are who being brutally murdered, you well described the regime. Aweil citizens and anyone who know Gen. Malong name are currently being killed. Lual Akoon and group of Aweil officers who were rounded up not long ago are alleged to have been arbitrary executed in Jebel Luri.

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  • 13 June 04:21, by Anthony

    Wow, imprisoning people for disagreeing with you? South sudan’s gov just keeps on getting worse and worse. Seems they’re taking notes from Khartoum and what they’re doing to their folks over there.

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  • 13 June 05:32, by Anthony

    At this point South Sudan’s never gonna improve or get better no matter what. South Sudanese are just too savage and incapable of maintaining a proper civilization. Just look at its history. Bari,Mundari,Nuer,Dnka and many more were too uncivilized to ever develop their own kingdom. The shilluk only had a kingdom because they copied Sennar. primitiveness is in their blood I swear.

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    • 13 June 05:42, by Anthony

      South Sudan should be annexed by Uganda like the British once planned. The Bantus are far more civilized and know how to run a state, Nilotes cant since they did not have states. Kingdom of Lozi, Kongo,Buganda,Kwazulu,Bunyoro,Maravi,Mutapa,Rwanda,Burundi,Luba,Lunda etc, the Bantus have many kingdoms and would surely civilize the savage Bari,Nuer,Dinka etc and bring development.

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      • 13 June 06:26, by Khent

        Anthony

        Your entire rant is just a buch of ahistorical, half-baked drivel. The Chollo (’Shilluk’) kingdom was established long before they encountered the Funj; the Luo already had kingdoms centuries before they left Bahr el Ghazal for Upper Nile.

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        • 13 June 08:45, by Anthony

          So all you have to rely on is the Luo? Out of all the 64 tribes only 3 made centralized kingdoms.The vast majority of the Luo peoples are decentralized. The Acholi,alur,Lango and jaluo of Kenya/Uganda have clan systems and never developed kingdoms like Buganda. The sole exception are the Anyuak and Shilluk who had Extensive influence from Sennar and other arabs.

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          • 13 June 08:59, by Anthony

            I’m just telling it like it is.Pastoral groups have almost always been decentralized and prone to extreme violence and primitiveness. Agricultural groups on the other hand are more peaceful and developed. 90% of South Sudan’s land is arable. It could be the breadbasket of Africa, its unfortunate that its mostly populated with cow obsessed herders who.The truth may hurt but its still the truth.

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            • 13 June 09:06, by Anthony

              It cant even be denied that south Sudan would’ve turned out infinitely better if the British made it apart of the Black African, English speaking and christian majority Uganda instead of the arab north. Truly a shame that never happened. Now South Sudan’s forever doomed to be the eternal cesspool of east africa alongside somalia.

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              • 13 June 09:22, by Khent

                Anthony

                You seem to be under the impression that I’m here to convince you of anything or engage you in debate. I have no such interest. I only pointed out [for third party observers] that you’re wrong about the source of Chollo kingship. You have yet to provide actual sources showing the influence of Sennar on the Chollo.

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                • 13 June 20:32, by Anthony

                  Oh, so you have no objection to the fact that Nilotes were primitive and uncivilized savages for the entirety of their history. OK.

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            • 13 June 22:07, by Kenyang ll

              "Pastoral groups have almost always been decentralized and prone to extreme violence and primitiveness."

              Anthony,
              We can’t change what we are. What we’re is the reason we’re not Bantu or anyone else. People can be "decentralized" and peaceful at the same time or opposite can be true as well.

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              • 13 June 22:36, by Kenyang ll

                .... Not because what you pointed out is wrong; it’s in fact,common logic if you move frequently from place to another (like pastoralists)it’s likely one would cause/incurred problem. Yet, ongoing instability in South Sudan is due to failed leadership (Kiir corrupt regime) not lack of centralization of tribes or another.

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                • 16 June 04:36, by Anthony

                  This obsession with cows needs to be stopped. People are literally murdering hundreds of people for a stupid 4 legged animal and forcibly marrying off their under age daughters for these animals as well. Just switch to agriculture and become the breadbasket of africa.

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                • 16 June 04:56, by Anthony

                  Kiir is a retarded dictator.The other option is reik(a tribalist which calls for his people to steal other ethnic groups lands and massacre the dinka) who is a arab slave of khartoum and the west. Anyone who hasn’t killed anyone and is educated can not hope to be president. There’s no hope for S.Sudan. sad.

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              • 16 June 04:49, by Anthony

                ’We cant change who we are" this is the exact reason why South Sudan will always be a shithole despite all the natural resources it has which could be used to benefit it. Because of the cow loving and raiding culture. sad.

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            • 13 June 09:37, by Khent

              ’Anthony’

              Your source -Stephanie Beswick- asserts that Sennar "spawned" the Shilluk kingdom and I’m not sure what this means in light of the fact that the Luo had kingdoms centuries before they even knew of the existence of the Funj. Your own source shows that the Chollo became centralised on their own.

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              • 13 June 10:11, by Khent

                The Chollo kingdom had a complicated relationship with the Funj (and per your source) seem to have been influenced by the Nuba of Tegali and the Funj in positive and negative ways, and I really have no reason to push back against these salient facts. I disputed what I intended to dispute regarding the origin of Chollo kingship.

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              • 13 June 20:52, by Anthony

                The Funj civilized the shilluk and taught them how to make proper homes and wear clothes. "The luo had kingdoms" no the Shilluk/anyuak had kingdoms the rest of the luo(Jaluo,acholi,alur) were like the nuer/dinka/bari, people who blow into cows asses and don’t know what civilization means. You didn’t even provide sources for that claim.

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                • 13 June 20:58, by Anthony

                  Anyways I ain’t gonna continue in this discussion with someone who pulls facts outta their ass just to feel good about their shit precolonial history. Cya

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                  • 13 June 23:17, by Khent

                    ’Anthony’

                    I don’t know what your issue is.

                    Your own source shows that the Shilluk already had a kingdom before they met the Funj; they already had metal-workers but required access to areas with iron deposits from the Tegali Nuba; the Shilluk replaced animal hides with fabrics after encountering the Funj and benefitted from new building techniques...

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                    • 13 June 23:23, by Khent

                      ..What’s your point? Your original claim that the Shilluk did not have a kingdom prior to coming into contact with the Funj, is untenable. Do you suppose that the Funj advanced on their own? Even the ancient Greeks acquired their alpahabet from the Phoenicians and building techniques from civilizations like the Minoans and the ancient Egyptians.

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                      • 13 June 23:31, by Khent

                        I think I know who you are. Your choice of a new pseudonym is a nice touch. Bravo, Northern Sudanese! Yeah, the Nilotes are primitive and their cultures suck, and will require a process of death and rebirth in cultural terms. I’ve been saying this for years. Education will be key, and I’m glad there is no religion that will get in the way of what will have to happen.

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                        • 13 June 23:41, by Khent

                          Change your rhetoric if you wish to pretend to be something you’re not. The fact that you make a eugenics type argument ("in their blood") is precisely why you can’t be taken seriously. In any case, tell us where exactly you’re apparently from, so we can assess your history.

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                          • 16 June 04:46, by Anthony

                            Ok I’ll admit the ’in their blood’ part was a bit much and I regret that and take it back. I’m very frustrated with the situation of south sudan and the behaviour and attitudes of my kinfolk there. It pretty much looks like violence is in the blood if you just look at our history..which is pretty much catttle raiding and kidnapping women and children and more cattle raiding..

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                        • 16 June 04:40, by Anthony

                          You think you know who i am? A northern sudanese? I despise the savage northern muslims for what they’ve done to my ancestors. I’m pretty sure I stated that south sudan would’ve ended up better if it was annexed to christian uganda instead of the savage muslim arab north. One would think that would be a clue that I’m not a north sudanese..

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                        • 16 June 05:02, by Anthony

                          "Education will be key, and I’m glad there is no religion that will get in the way of what will have to happen." What do you mean by this? Have you seen how religious southern sudanese are. They even have stupid cults believing in magic spirits(for example the nuer with Ngundeng). Also its not as if Kiir or reik will be leaving anytime soon so there’s that..

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                          • 17 June 15:21, by Khent

                            Anthony

                            I think you and I got off on the wrong foot, and I’ll readily admit fault here, so I apologise. There are so many aberrant and deceitful people on this joke of a website -> prompting me to have become a tad bit too defensive when I’ve assessed that people are assuming identities in order to launch ethnic-contingent attacks...

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                            • 17 June 15:35, by Khent

                              ..With a small handful of objections in relation to the origin of Chollo Kingship and one statement that you’ve sinced withdrawn and disavowed... I actually agree with you on your assessments of our retrogressive and destructive ’cultures’. The cultures of tribes in South Sudan deserve to be dismantled in light of how much death and misery they inflict on themselves...

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                              • 17 June 16:17, by Khent

                                ..Now, in regard to what I meant with my statement about religion in South Sudan, that’s my bad — I really should have been more precise. South Sudan’s indigenous religions are not even remotely sophisticated and are thus more susceptible to abatement via education. I don’t think they even have any scriptures outlining and documenting prescribed moral codes...

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                                • 17 June 16:33, by Khent

                                  ..I was thinking of a particular religion when I made my statement -> Islam. That religion is not persuasive to people like you and I, but it’s a lot more persuasive than belief systems bereft of the characteristics I mentioned above. I’m not a fan of Christianity, but it’s a lot more amenable to moderation than Islam. This is one of the few things our near worthless country has going for it.

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