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International Community urged to ‘save’ Gatdet

James Gatdet, Dr Riek Machar's Spokesman

The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy has called on the international community to intervene and save the former spokesperson of Dr Machar from the death penalty verdict.

The rights group is making the appeal to regional body-IGAD, United Nations, African Union, Troika member-states, and the international rights groups.

In what the right group describes as ‘mock trial’, James Gatdet was tried for treason for instigating the 2016 violence.

According to the state-run SSBC, Gatdet was also sentenced to 20 years in jail for insulting the President.

Mr. Gatdet was deported from Kenya in 2016 and has since been held at the National Security detention premises.

“James Gatdet Dak was a typical political detainee who should have been released within the provisions of the Agreement on Cessation of Hostilities the parties signed two months ago in Addis Ababa,” the rights group said in a statement.

The group called on President Salva Kiir to release Gatdet as per the deal to serve in the interest of peace and unity of the South Sudanese people.

It also urged Kenya to prevent any harm to the convict saying it was Kenya that deported Gatdet to South Sudan which it says was against the international law.

So far, there has not been any reaction from the international human rights organizations and the international community at large.