By Mabor Tut,
The Red Card Movement (RCM)
July 11, 2021 — The Red Card Movement leadership is deeply frenzied on the arbitrary arrest of Rev. Abraham Chol Maketh known as Prophet Abraham Chol in Juba.
On the night of 9th July 2021, the Government of South Sudan security agents broke into Rev. Abraham’s house in Juba manhandled him in his latent bedroom and dragged him out, and taken him to an unknown location. This action has breached the South Sudan Penal Code2008 Act that prohibited arrest of any citizen beyond 7:00 Pm. Therefore, the Government’s actions against the citizen were barbaric and quantity to state terror.
The RCM strongly condemns the arbitrary arrest against Rev. Abraham and demands his immediate release. Rev. Abraham’s arrest came after he has demanded President Salva Kiir and his First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar to resign and hand over the leadership to a new leader to stop perpetual bloodshed, injustice, and corruption to allow peace, stability, justice, equality, freedom, and democracy to reign in the country. The Government’s arbitrary actions against Rev. Abraham and other citizens have undermined his liberty, personal security, dignity, and freedom of speech, enshrined in the bill of rights that states every citizen deserves the equal right and dignified treatment thereof.
The RCM lawyers looked through the South Sudan Penal Code Act2008 Chapter 15 Offences under articles (201, 202, 66, 74, and 76) quoted in the Rev. Abraham arrest warrant dated 8th July 2021 and got it all were misquoted, misinterpreted and abused maximally. Here reads:
Article 201 Insulting or Inciting Contempt of Religious Creed, It says:
“Whoever by any means publicly insults or seeks to incite contempt of any religion in such as to be likely to lead to a breach of the peace, commits an offense, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with a fine or with both”.
Article 202 Abuse of Religious and Noble Beliefs, it says:
“Whoever abuses religious or noble spiritual beliefs for political exploitation or with the intention to incite or promote feelings of hatred, enmity or discord among religious communities or commits an act intended or is likely to cause the same, commits an offence, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years or with a fine or with both”.
Article 66 Subverting Constitutional Government, it says:
“Whoever, whether inside or outside Southern Sudan: (a) organizes or set up, or advocates, urges or suggests the organization or setting up of, any group or body with the aim of: (i)overthrowing or attempting to overthrow the government by unconstitutional means; (ii)taking over or attempting to take over the government by unconstitutional means or usurping the functions of the government; or (iii) coercing or attempting to coerce the government in an unconstitutional manner. (b). support or assists any group or body in doing or attempting to do any of the things described in paragraph (a), above commits the offence of subverting the constitutional government, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years”.
Article 74 Causing Disaffection Among Police Force or Defense Forces, it says:
“Whoever induces, or attempts to induce, or does any act with the intention or realizing that there is a risk or possibility of inducing or causing any member of the police or defense forces to withhold his or her services, loyalty or allegiance or to commit breaches of discipline, commits an offence, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or with a fine or with both”. Article 76 Undermining Authority of or Insulting President, it says: “Any person who publicly, unlawfully and intentionally: (a). makes any statement about or concerning the president or any acting president with the knowledge of realizing that there is a real risk or possibility that the statement is false and that it may; (i). engender feelings of hostility towards; or (ii)caused hatred, contempt or ridicule of; the president or an acting president, whether in person or in respect of the president’s office; or (b). makes any abusive, indecent or absence statement about or concerning the president personally or the president’s office, commits an offence, and upon conviction, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or with a fine or with both”.
Hence, the Penal Code2008 Act provisions quoted by the government in the above paragraphs to prosecute Rev. Abraham have all been misquoted, misinterpreted and abused. And this amounts to abuse of power by the President and it is an offence that can render President Kiir immediate resignation from the office. Rev. Abraham didn’t insult the president, or threaten the president’s life by any form or committed treason that warrants him such arbitrary arrest. He was using his citizenship rights the freedom of expression enshrined in South Sudan Constitution.
The RCM hereby demands the immediate release of Rev. Abraham within 72hours or the nationwide peaceful demonstration shall spark off instantaneously. We got the citizens’ rights to protect and live up to.
In light of the above, we request the citizens of South Sudan to remain alert and prompt to the call for all-out change and not to give up their rights in any way in the face of President Kiir’s Government brutality.
“Don’t be silent, don’t be violent”
Mabor Tut is the President of the Red Card Movement South Sudan and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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