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Nuer community women call on Kiir to pardon Gatdet

James Gatdet in the dock on Monday, Feb 12, 2018 | Photo | Facebook

The Nuer community women in Juba are appealing to the President Salva Kiir to pardon the former spokesperson of Dr. Riek Machar.

James Gatdet was sentenced to death in a court in Juba in February after he was accused of treason for inciting the July 2016 fighting at the presidential palace.

The former journalist was also handed jail sentences totaling 21 years, which he is expected to serve before his execution.

However, the women say the former spokesman for Dr Riek Machar should be pardoned because the country is heading towards peace and reconciliation.

“We know Gatdet has committed a crime. But because of us the women, please, Gatdet should be not be hanged,” pleaded Mary Nyaruai, who spoke on behalf of the Nuer community women in Juba.

“Pardon him because of us women.”

Both local and international human rights watchdogs have also called on President Kiir to pardon James Gatdet.

The president, according to the Interim Constitution, has the powers to pardon anyone who has been issued a death penalty.

“We know that you have the power and you are empowered by the constitution of South Sudan to decide but we are appealing to you to reverse the decision and release him,” added Ms Nyaruai.

The country’s laws also indicate that a court ruling can be appealed in 14 days.

Two weeks after the sentence, the defense lawyer of Gatdet submitted a petition of appeal against his death penalty.

But it is not clear whether other courts proceedings were conducted after the appeal.