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S. Sudan’s Kiir pardons activist Peter Biar, 29 other prisoners

January 2, 2019 (JUBA) – South Sudan President Salva Kiir has pardoned jailed activist Peter Biar Ajak, renowned businessman Kerbino Wol Agok and 28 other inmates in a decree issued Thursday.

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Kiir addresses a news conference inside his office in the capital Juba September 12, 2013 (Reuters photo)

The decree, read on the state-owned TV (SSBC), came a week after the South Sudanese leader promised while visiting Juba Central prison to free prisoners with good conduct.

On June 11, the High Court in Juba sentenced Biar to two year in jail for inciting violence and disturbing the peace over interviews he gave to the media during a stand-off between inmates and guards at the National Security Service (NSS) headquarters in October 2018.

Wol was handed a 10 year sentence for violating section 67, 72, 79 and 47 of the penal code of 2008.

The South Sudanese leader, in the latest decree, also pardoned inmates from Juba Central Prison as well as from Wau, Tonj, Kwajok and Torit state prisons.

In December last year, Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO) appealed to the president to demonstrate reconciliation by not only pardoning jailed inmates with minor cases, but also pardon those with political implications like Biar and Wol, among other prisoners.

(ST)