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Lawyer petitions African court over two S. Sudan activists

February 28, 2018 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese lawyer has petitioned to the African Commission on Human and People’s Right over the illegal detention by South Sudanese authorities since January 2017 of renowned human rights activists Samuel Dong Luak and Aggrey Idri.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (AFP)

Wani Santino Jada says he has credible information that the two human rights activists are being held by the national security in Juba.

Both Luak and Idri were kidnapped belatedly on 23 January 2017, in the evening by Kenyan security personnel, allegedly collaborating with their South Sudanese counterparts, family members said.

The disappearance of the two South Sudanese officials drew lots of criticisms from human rights defenders across the globe, accusing the Kenyan government of targeting South Sudanese on their soil.

“The world is watching and everything is documented, there are those who committed crimes after the Second World War, those who committed war crimes, genocide, forceful disappearance and crime against humanity after the collapse of the soviet in Yugoslavia, Kosovo among others and they are still tried and you will not be an exception,” the lawyer told Sudan Tribune on Wednesday.

“Under Article 33(1) of the Convention on the Status of Refugees of 1951 and Protocol 1967. Lawyer Samuel is a refugee in Kenya, he fled South Sudan due to persecution and has well-founded fear and he was unwilling to return to South Sudan due to his political affiliation to SPLA-IO and he was under the protection of the Refugee Convention in Kenya,” he added.

He said South Sudan has the duty to respect the convention as stated in article 9 (3) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan of 2011 that all international human rights treaties ratified South Sudan are integral parts of the bill of rights in the Constitution of South Sudan.

Jada earlier petitioned to the East African Court of Justice (EACJ) when South Sudan appointed its regional lawmakers, violating article 50 of the treaty establishing the East African Community (EAC).