October 10th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government executed four prisoners in September, a report by Amnesty International said today.
The rights advocacy group said in the report tittle: “South Sudan: Execution spree continues as four people hanged in September,” that the four prisoners includes a child who – at the time of the crime – was a minor.
The group further expressed concerns as the world marks the World Day Against Death Penalty.
“Today,” the group said in the report. “on World Day Against the Death Penalty, Amnesty International expresses concerns about the execution of four people in South Sudan on 27 and 30 September. One of those executed was a child at the time of the crime.”
The group said the fourth prisoner was a convict of Lakes state High Court who was sentenced death on September 10 and was “a child aged about 17 for murder and sentenced him to death. He was executed by hanging on 30 September 2019 in Wau Central Prison.”
It said the practice of death penalty in South Sudan violates the country’s constitution as well as the country’s obligation under international law.
“The imposition of the death sentence and execution violate South Sudanese laws and the country’s obligations under international law,” it said.
“Also, on 30 September 2019, Wau Central Prison authorities executed a man by hanging. The High Court in Tonj State had sentenced him to death on 29 November 2018 for first degree murder,” the report added.
It further said the group as well “documented the execution by hanging of two other men in Juba Central Prison on 27 September 2019.”
“The use of the death penalty against people who were children at the time of the crime is strictly prohibited under international human rights law and South Sudan’s 2011 Transitional Constitution. Article 21(2) of the Constitution states that ‘No death penalty shall be imposed on a person under the age of eighteen’.
“Article 37(a) of the Convention on the Rights of a Child, to which South Sudan is a party, stipulates that ‘neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below 18 years of age’.
“The continued presence on death row of at least one child – a boy of just 17 years of age – also clearly contravenes South Sudanese law and international human rights law and standards.
“Philip Deng (not his real name), who was a student in secondary school, was sentenced to death by hanging on 14 November 2017 after being convicted of murder. He was 15 years of age at the time of the incident and conviction.
“Besides, he did not have legal representation during the trial. He later gained access to a lawyer who appealed the court’s decision on 27 December 2017.
“He was transferred from Torit State Prison to Juba Central Prison on 9 September 2018 where he still languishes as he waits for his appeal to be heard.”