23rd February 2024
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Yakani appeals to President Kiir to pardon detained govt critics

Author: Michael Daniel | Published: Sunday, December 31, 2023

CEPO Director Edmund Yakani | Photo: Awan Moses/Eye Radio.

Civil society activist Edmond Yakani has called on the Head of State to also extend pardons to some arbitrarily detained government critics to reunite with their families.

The advocate is reacting to the pardoning by President Kiir of 20 inmates from government prisons across the country on Friday.

According to Edmond, some government critics have been arbitrarily detained while for some, their whereabouts remain unknown.

He cited the like of Morris Mabor who was kidnapped from Nairobi in February 2023.

Similarly, he said, Peter Ajak Biar, who headed a civil society organization was kidnapped in Juba in October 2023.

Another, according to Yakani is Simon Yang, who was allegedly detained under the directives of the Renk County authorities after he reportedly questioned the commissioner on social media over a lack of transparency.

Meanwhile, Raphael Juma Zakaria was detained in December 2023 in Juba for allegedly challenging the recruitment and deployment of some security personnel.

Speaking to Eye Radio, Edmond Yakani urges President Kiir to intervene for the release of the detainees – something he said will be the head of state’s gift for the detainees and their families.

“We hope the culture of pardoning people should involve pardoning the recently detained young activities namely Mabior Moris Peter Ajak Biar, Simon Yang in Renk, and Raphael Zakaria who stood up and spoke on matters of transparency and accountability in our country.

“We hope that in 2024, they will join their families and society as a gift to the president.”

Eye Radio could not independently verify the detention of Raphael Juma Zakaria and Simon Yang as well as the kidnapping of Morris Mabor from Nairobi, Kenya.

Kiir often uses events such as Christmas, New Year celebrations, and Easter season as well as Muslim Eid and Independent Day celebrations to pardon inmates.

The latest pardoning of inmates is not the first of its kind, but one of several he has done over the years.

In February 2023, President Kiir pardoned seventy-one prisoners including thirty-six on death row inmates and 35 inmates who failed to pay compensations or fines.



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