AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Appeal for a moratorium on the death penalty: 200 people on death row in inhuman conditions

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - An appeal for a moratorium on the death penalty in South Sudan was launched by Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and a series of local groups of civil society. In a joint statement the humanitarian organizations say that the judicial system of the young State (South Sudan has been independent since July 2011) is not able to guarantee basic rights to the approximately 200 prisoners in the "death row." The rights group say, "the vast majority are shackled and crowded into cramped cells" never had a lawyer "and are unable to adequately prepare their defense or to appeal convictions." "President Salva Kiir Mayardit should immediately declare an official moratorium on executions, and the government should urgently address the continuing shortcomings in the Country’s administration of justice," the document concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 06/11/2012)