Urgent Action Update: Activist Arbitrarily Detained for Almost 6 Months (South Sudan: UA 143.18)
January 25, 2019
Peter Biar Ajak, a prominent South Sudanese academic and activist, has been arbitrarily detained by the National Security Service (NSS) for almost six months. The activist has yet to be brought before a court and charged. He has also been denied access to his lawyers since 7 October 2018. He has only been allowed sporadic family visits while in detention. Peter Biar was arrested on 28 July 2018 by the NSS. He has been a vocal critic of the South Sudan government.
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Salva Kiir Mayardit President of the Republic of South Sudan Twitter: @RepSouthSudan@PresSalva Salutation: Your Excellency
H.E. Phillip Jada Natana Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan 1015 31st Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20007 Phone: 202 293 7940 I Fax: 202 293 7941 Email: [email protected] Contact form: https://bit.ly/2MxNx4r Salutation: Dear Ambassador
Your Excellency President Salva Kiir Mayardit,
Peter Biar Ajak is a South Sudanese academic, activist and chairperson of the South Sudan Young Leaders Forum. He has been arbitrarily detained at the NSS headquarters in Juba since 28 July 2018 when he was arrested by NSS agents at Juba International Airport. He was arrested as he was preparing to travel to Aweil to hold a youth forum.
The reasons behind Peter Biar’s arrest and detention are unknown. However, it is believed that his arrest could be linked to the youth forum that he intended to hold in Aweil and the fact that Peter Biar has been a vocal critic of the South Sudan government. To date, about six months after he was detained, Peter Biar has yet to be brought before a court or charged with a recognisable criminal offence in accordance with international law and standards. He has also been denied access to his lawyers since detainees revolted in the detention centre on 7 October 2018 demanding due process and an improvement in detention conditions.
Even though his family has been allowed to visit him at the NSS headquarters in Juba, this access has not been regular. His family has told Amnesty International that Peter Biar has lost significant weight since his detention.
I call on you to ensure Peter Biar Ajak is released immediately or charged with a recognizable criminal offense in accordance with international law and standards; ensure that Peter Biar Ajak is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment while in detention; ensure Peter Biar Ajak is granted regular access to his family, his lawyers and any healthcare he may require.