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Charge or release Elias Waya, rights group says

Author : | Published: Friday, October 7, 2016

The human rights group, Amnesty International, has urged South Sudanese authorities to either charge or release former Wau Governor Elias Waya from detention.

In a statement yesterday, the group says Mr Elias was arrested by the military police on the 26th of June and has been in detention at the Giyada military barracks in Juba until now without charges.

It says Mr Elias “was summoned to Juba by President Salva Kiir on 23 June and was relieved of his position as governor the following day.”

“South Sudanese Military Police entered his residence in the Rock City neighbourhood of Juba on 26 June at 10am with a letter signed by the Chief of General Staff, Lt. General Paul Malong, ordering his arrest. The military police arrested Elias Waya Nyipuoch and detained him in a cell at Giyada military barracks in Juba, where he remains in detention,” it said.

The statement calls for ensuring that “Elias Waya Nyipuoch has access to a lawyer” and calls on the authorities “to end arbitrary detention in the Giyada military barracks where Elias Waya Nyipuoch is currently being held.”

Amnesty International says Mr Waya was arrested on the orders of the SPLA Chief of General Staff and has not been informed of the reasons for his arrest; he has not been taken for trial in court or given access to a lawyer.

When contacted by Eye Radio for a comment, the spokesperson of the SPLA, Brigadier Lul Ruai, said it was not the responsibility of the army to comment on the report.

“In addition to that, we don’t believe it falls within the jurisdiction of amnesty to direct us on what we should do on we our legal issues; we have our national Minister for Justice. He knows what he is supposed to be doing,” Brigadier Lul said.

“The other judiciary arms of the government of South Sudan know what they are supposed to doing whenever someone is accused. We don’t receive our legal advice from international bodies including Amnesty International. That’s why I am saying this is part of this international negative campaign against either the top military leadership of the country or the political leadership,” he said.

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