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South Sudan: Seven men including members of one family hanged amid spike in executions

South Sudan President Salva Kiir. His government handed seven men including members of one family hanged amid the spike in executions. (FILE PHOTO

JUBA – South Sudan authorities executed at least seven people in February 2019 alone, three of whom were from the same family. This is as many as were executed in the whole of 2018 and represents a shocking spike in the use of the death penalty in the country, Amnesty International said today.

“This confirms our fears that South Sudan authorities have absolutely no respect for the right to life as they continue to totally disregard the fact that the world is moving away from the use of the death penalty,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

In December 2018, Amnesty International raised the alarm that the eastern African country had in that year executed more people than in any other year since its independence in 2011.

The executions in 2018 followed the transfer of at least 135 death row prisoners from county and state prisons to Wau Central Prison and Juba Central Prison, which are equipped with gallows to carry out executions.

Six of this year’s victims were executed in Juba Central Prison, while at least one was executed in Wau Central Prison. All the victims were men. The country executes people by hanging.

“We are shocked and dismayed that executions have become the order of the day in South Sudan. Rather than execute people, the authorities should rehabilitate prisoners and make them well-adjusted individuals that can contribute positively to society,” said Seif Magango.

Amnesty International has established that at least three of the executions undertaken i

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