Human rights lawyer says Peter Biar could be sentenced to death, urges UN to help 

Prominent civil rights activist Peter Biar Ajak (File photo)

January 30th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – An international human rights lawyer said this week that South Sudan human rights advocate, Peter Biar Ajak, who is now being detained in the country could be sentenced to death for crimes he did not commit urging the United Nations to do something to help in order to secure his release.

Ajak, a Harvard graduate and a PhD candidate, was arrested on July 28 last year at Juba international airport while travelling to Northern Bhar Al-Ghazal state capital Aweil to attend a Red Army function and was subsequently put under detention at the National Security headquarters in Juba.

Currently, he is being investigated for crimes such as treason, insurgency, banditry, sabotage and terrorism all of which are punishable by death.

In an appeal to the United Nations this week, international human rights lawyer Jared Genser warned that if Ajak is convicted for one of this crime, he can be sentenced to death.

“If charged and convicted of these crimes, he could be sentenced to death,” Genser said in the appeal.

“We respectfully request an urgent communication be sent by the Special Rapporteurs to the Government of South Sudan about Ajak’s situation, emphasizing that peaceful political activism and speech cannot be criminalized or punished and that human rights defenders have the right to carry out their work without interference,” the appeal added.