By Dak Buoth,
Feb 16, 2018(Nyamilepedia) —– I was not surprised by the High Court verdict that sentenced James Gatdet Dak to death on 13th February, 2018 on grounds that he insulted the President Kiir and for disseminating false information and so on and so forth. All these are trash. I must say for sure that this ruling has really got me disappointed. It is sad seeing our country taking the wrong turn and thriving in doing the worse things consistently in undemocratic passion.
Many South Sudanese do not take that court and the entire judiciary seriously. I have said time and again that the judiciary is no longer an independent arm of government capable of making independent ruling. On the other hand, i think President Uhuru Kenyatta must now admit that he erred by deporting James Gatdet Dak to Juba to face death and torture in November, 2016.
So far, the damage is done. Whether they killed him or not is immaterial. Eventually, the Captors would not like it and they can’t pay for it. We live in the dark era, but we are not quitting anytime soon. We cannot entertain a government that is shy to try doing anything good to its citizenry due to incompetency. History will remember this rogue regime and its handful beneficiaries very harshly because they are fostering impunity, death, corruption and sheer disregard for fundamental human rights and freedoms such as a right to fair trial.
As at now the executive and the judiciary are one and the same, and the legislature has become rubber stamp parliament. Remember these are facts as opposed to imaginations. If i may ask: who does not know that our courts and Judiciary have become an extension of the army, SPLA?
The Chinese have saying that ‘‘it is the peacock that raises his head that gets shot’’ More often than not, gallant Judges and the Advocates who stood for the Accused person (s) face intimidation from the rogue security Personnel that is why Gatdet Dak’s Lawyer, Monyluak withdrew from the case fearing for his life. These persistent threats to our judges and Advocates in their line of duty are aimed at defiling the law and the constitution and other statutes.
It is against this background that i dismissed this ruling as hogwash, charade and mockery to justice and the rule of law. I do not expect those judges in Juba to hear and determine the case based on law and evidences presented before them by the counsel in that hostile zone. In view of the above, I have low opinion on the appeal option. I think Gatdet Dak cannot even attempt to appeal; to me that will be a waste of resources and time. It is crystal clear this is a political case that has already been predetermined by those who drive the court on daily basis.
In spite of these numerous threats, the judges and members of legal professionals in South Sudan should stay put and rise above intimidation. They must stand firm and show utmost fidelity to the law by protecting basic human rights and freedom of all persons in the society.
This country of South Sudan belongs to all of us, and therefore, we the Youth will not accept to be relegated to the background and assume the position of slaves and beggars.
I call upon Human Right Agencies to exert pressure so as for this death sentence to be quashed forthwith. Relatively, i must bring this unfortunate development to the attention of the relevant international Authorities, that this court ruling violates the Cessation of Hostilities Agreement signed on 22 December, 2017. Part 3, Article eight calls on all parties to unconditionally release all political prisoners and detainees, and the President Salva Kiir’s camp is no exception.
From a distance, I can read the minds of President Salva Kiir and his surrogates. They are trying to provoke the downtrodden with a view to frustrate the ongoing peace talks in Addis Ababa.
On the one hand, they are out to gamble with justice and peoples’ lives. Perhaps, they want to condemn him to death as they did and say later that they pardon him so as to be seen that he is kind and sympathetic.
The Writer is Co-Convenor of the Senior Youth of South Sudan (SEYOSS), he can be reached for comments via email@example.com