By Kur Ayuen Kou
I am deeply appalled by the continuous use of the death penalty as the best form of punishment in our fractured society. In a span of one week, South Sudan has carried out six executions on inmates, some of who have not exhausted all their legal options, including the right to appeal for clemency to His Excellency the President of the Republic. REST IN PEACE!
This is a worrisome development in a country that is preaching forgiveness, tolerance and peace. It's very painful that the government can embark on this undertaking when it has other weighty state responsibilities.
As a concerned citizen of our nascent Republic, we are a call to duty when the responsibility knocks on our doors. The duty to protect, preserve and defend the constitution does not only lie with the government, it's a collective responsibility of every citizen. Our national heroes including our President gave their lives to liberate millions of us from the bondage of slavery.
I am not writing for the sake of making noise, my writing on the subject is a deep-seated belief in the application of fair justice. I am writing to correct what is fundamentally wrong in our justice system that I bore witness.
The course of justice that led to the execution of these citizens is a distinctive process which seems not to have been entirely observed. It starts with a police officer responding to a crime and conducts an investigation. Once the suspect is fully interrogated, he/she is presented before a court of law. Upon conviction, he/she will be sentenced and convicted to the degree of his/her crime. The convict has the right to appeal his conviction to higher courts including the Appeal and the Supreme courts. After exhausting all legal options, the convict has the right to apply for a pardon to his Excellency the President of the Republic. If clemency plea is rejected by the President, it would be automatically presumed that the President has confirmed the conviction and sign the execution order.
In three of the six cases executed, these standards seem not to have been followed. One guy whom I will not name for the sake of the grieving family was tried in absentia even though he was in prison as a remand prisoner for more than ten years. Three other individuals were still waiting for their appeal judgement, eight years since their conviction and subsequent appeal after fourteen days as the law requires. The appeal court, the second highest court did not pronounce any judgement prior to their executions. Have we now abandoned the rule of law, the cornerstone of justice?
These oversights amount to culpability and the weaknesses of the justice system in the Country. And the very reason why the death penalty should not be carried out at all time. Fast it backwards, two underage brothers were executed in 2017 in complete violation of their rights under article 21 of South Sudan's Transitional Constitution as amended. This article restricts the use of the death penalty on any person under the age of eighteen.
These excesses affirm the UN General Assembly's resolution 62/149 which stated that “Death Penalty undermine human dignity”. It further expounds that“any miscarriage or failure of justice in the death penalty's implementation is irreversible and irreparable”.
When it comes to our laws, the South Sudan Transitional Constitution has those safeguards. The right to life is the foundation of all human rights. The constitution grantee it under article 11, Life and Human Dignity, “Every person has the inherent right to life, dignity and the integrity of his or her person which shall be protected by law; no one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his or her life”.but still state officers are not ready to do the right thing.
What is puzzling, from time to time and despite the glaring facts, there is a concerted denial from the government about the use of the death penalty as a form of punishment in the country. There is this narrative that South Sudan has never executed anyone since its inception in 2011. You can't fool all the people all the time. The secrecy surrounding all these executions indicated that the state is guilty of the practice. It's inhumane and cruel to take out human life of which all other rights depend on. If you are not alive, you cannot claim any right. Anything that takes away human life from God gifted existence is tantamount to murder, the very thing that needs to be corrected with that form of punishment.
Death penalty retentionist deterrent hypothesis is discarded a long time ago. Countries that are still carrying out the death penalty on some of the most gruesome crime are still experiencing those crimes. It's not the number of people that you hanged through state sanction killing that deter others from committing those same crimes. Human impulses determined the action that leads to murder.
Resolution 62/149 of the UN General Assembly categorically declared that “there is no conclusive evidence that death penalty deterrent argument by many countries that retain capital punishment reduces crimes of murder from being committed in those countries”.
We are a progressive society. To be held in the bondage of historical form of justice as the best practices annihilate our best values as a society. Do we love to see human being struggling like a chicken, pleading for his/her dear life during the execution? With all the state power, his life is exterminated without his wish.
It is time to rethink as a country on the use of the death penalty. I urge our leadership, Religious and Political leaders, our Parliamentarians who are the makers of our laws, the Executive headed by our President as the implementing authority of those laws to look at the logic of the use of death penalty. At the end of the day, you have two broken families and communities who have lost their dear one. One as a result of a crime committed to what every form and the other one, a state-sanctioned killing. We have been taught in school that two wrong don't make a right.
We must, as a country revisited and revise those laws like the penal code and the code of criminal procedures 2008. The discretion given by law to the nearest family member in section 206 (b) of the penal code 2008 has been repeatedly misused and has put so many innocent people at risk. Section 48 of the same penal code,“Acts Committed by Several Persons in Furtherance of Common Intention” is no exception. This section is being used without clearly demarcating the element of action and intention of each accused in the crime. As long as the prosecution and the complainant have bundled you together, be sure you will be convicted together. Criminal actions that constitute a join act must clearly outline in the text of the laws. Leaving it to individual judicial officers to interpret has resulted in too many miscarriages of justice.
We all believe as a country that laws are made to govern society, not to be used against the people. Immediate corrective measures need to be undertaken to arrest the situation, to stop further executions.
I personally appeal to our President's usual human conscience to envoke his moratorium commitment under the UN charter to stay further execution. South Sudan as a member state of the United Nations has obligation under international law to subscribe to best practices that are moving human dignity forward. We should strive to uproot those gallows at our midst to the museums, not to be seen ever again. It must never touch a human born.
In the absence of the constitutional court, I appeal to His Excellency the President to consider setting up clemency review committee in his office to advise him on existing cases of death sentences with the view to commute them to life imprisonment.
By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
This is Third Sudanese Revolution, which broke out in December 2018, and has been going on for the Sixty Two days without a pause is worthy of Triumphant Victory. It is as its two Predecessors of the glorious October 21, 1964 Revolution, and the uprising of April 6, 1985. This more true, given the unprecedented solidarity of the people of Sudan which is by all measures worthy of ending the tyrannical rule of the individual in Sudan. Furthermore, the Uprising People of Sudan are united more than ever demanding change that seems inevitable even if the regime rules it out and unleash his rabid dogs of murderers who are the Masked members of the shadow brigades that belonging to Ali Osman Mohamed Taha, who admitted their existence. Thus, this ongoing unprecedented solidarity of the people of Sudan is worthy of ending the tyrannical rule by one individual in Sudan to protect himself from the grip of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which has been haunting him day and night since 2009 when the first arrest warrant was issued over the heinous crimes Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir perpetrated against the civilian Sudanese citizen in the Darfur region.
What the title of this article refers to is not a kind of wishful thinking, but it is a product of the laws of life, Laws of the universe, human experiences and the findings of scholarly studies around the world and throughout human history.
The Student activist and revolutionary blogger Mujahid Ahmad quotes in his article entitled "Until spring may lose the way!" that throughout history, a revolution has not failed because the regime that came out against it was cohesive or because its security apparatus was strong and arrogant. This has never happened. From the point of view of the ruling regimes, revolutions - especially peaceful ones - represent a real catastrophe that makes the pillars of government no matter how strong And the authoritarian trembling from the bottom to the top.
The popular revolutions are truly confusing to all dictatorial regimes, the National Congress Party (NCP) Islamist entity is by no means an exception and it is almost impossible to stop them. The famous Frenchman Gustave Le Bon Charles-Marie Gustave Le Bon, the French polymath whose areas of interest included anthropology, psychology, sociology, medicine, invention, and physics and best known for his 1895 work The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind, which is considered one of the seminal works of crowd psychology. The famous Frenchman talked about the masses, especially the revolutionary movements, and their deep belief that it is an invincible force. This faith turns into real reality. The goals that came out for it, here, in particular, the confusion of the systems climax, and start statements lame and fluttering stampede from the mouths of officials, expressing the state of helplessness and confusion that they are living, they are rats, infiltrators, agents for foreign powers and spies, etc.
The reaction of tyrants to revolutions throughout history and the diversity of countries remains very similar, similar to what is known in psychology as the five stages of surrender, which begin with denial: "There are no demonstrations, then it turns to rage: "These are saboteurs, rats, infiltrators, agents for foreign powers and spies, etc..
The natural trend in the final quarter of the life of the revolution, after experimentation and confusion, the tyrant begins to realize that the security solution of killing and harassing the revolutionary masses will do nothing but inflame the anger in the souls more and more and add new groups that were neutral to the circle of revolution. The foregoing will eventually lead to soft handling and the calls for dialogue and evasion by the tyrants such as Omer al-Bashir and his criminal entourage. The political will not find any of the ears within the ranks of the rebels listening to the intrigues of that kind.
What does the tyrant do then?
Well, the tyrant will not do anything. At this very moment, the tyrant's thinking and entourage becomes limited to the search for emergency exits and the search for a formula that guarantees a safe exit that will anger the public and the evil of accountability.
Speak up for the people of Sudan. The people of Sudan are united more than ever demanding change in Sudan. Your voice can help bring their demands into reality.
Afterwards, the stage of bargaining begins: "when the (NCP) regime President becomes conciliatory, admitting that the infamous Public Order Law, which puts all injustices and punishments against women by beating them with whips, is an unjust law that should be stopped. More than 45,000 complaints were issued against women under Sudan's Public Order Act during 2016. “Students, working women, and especially food and tea vendors have received the lion's share of physical and verbal violence.”https://www.dabangasudan.org/en/all-news/article/45-000-women-prosecuted-under-public-order-act-sudan-activists
Accordingly, though rather too late, Omer al-Bashir Calls now calls for the repeal of this unjust law that lasted for decades punishing Sudanese women. Moreover, al-Bashir as part of his conciliatory dialogue he promises that he would not to contest the presidential elections in 2020, for example. Nevertheless, the genocidal criminal, fugitive from the International justice, chased by the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague in the Netherlands, Marshall Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir would not admit the other grave atrocious crimes he and his regime perpetrated over the years. And such tyrannical regimes then comes the stage of depression and sadness saying to the angry public:" I understand you "as said, addressing his popularly uprising people by the ousted former Tunisian PresidentZine El Abidine Ben Ali. And finally comes the recognition of the impossibility of steadfastness in the face of the masses and turn the tyrant into a deposed or runaway or isolated. These are the classic stages of successful revolutions. There are anxieties and restlessness in the circles, ranks of the corrupt fat cats and corridors of the ruling regime of Omer al-Bashir trying to escape before the flood to Tehran in Turkey or to Malaysia or elsewhere. In general, there is unrest among members of the Sudanese Islamic Movement during the uprising of the people of Sudan to find a way out for their organization which is close to falling. There seems to be a new group of Islamists working to finalize new coordination to support the protest movement and to demand that President Omer al-Bashir to step down and that the alleged coordination is expected to be announced in the coming few days.https://twitter.com/Sudafax/status/1097108964746166272
The National Coordinating Committee for Change and Construction initiative has been reported to include some of the prominent Islamic leaders in the government and the opposition, headed by Ambassador Shafie Ahmed Mohammed, former political secretary of the ruling National Congress Party and Dr Mustafa Idris, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Khartoum, in addition to the group referred to as “Saihoon-translated as "Tourists". In general, the group included a number of Islamists who took part in the military operations in Southern Sudan during the civil war. Furthermore, some members of the group went with the Popular Congress Party (PCP) headed by the late Dr Hassan Abdalla al-Turabi after splitting, famously known as “Mufasala, translated as Haggle” in the year 1999 and the others went with the National Congress Party (NCP) led by Omer al-Bashir while some others kept themselves completely away from the government and practised as they say a kind of communication with all parties, but failed to convince the various groups to reunite, the factor which prompted them to launch an initiative four years ago. Since the emergence of their group, the “Tourists” have been talking about the corruption that has spread in the country and as to how to deal with it and whether the current government is capable of confronting it.
On the other hand, the Sudanese political opposition sent an urgent statement to Omer al-Bashir demanding the dissolution of the government and parliament. Twenty-two Sudanese parties, most of them participating in the government, signed a memorandum on Tuesday, 1 January 2019, to Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir to demand the dissolution of the Sudanese government and parliament.
The parties demanded in a statement read by a spokesman at a press conference to form a transitional council to lead the country, in addition to forming a transitional government that combines competencies and political representation, according to Al-Arabiya channel. The statement went on saying: "The current regime, and its political, economic, regional and international isolation, cannot overcome this crisis, which can only be overcome by a new regime in Sudan," a statement by the Front, which includes a number of Sudanese parties, read in a statement. The statement of the opposition, which includes a number of Sudanese parties, followed by a spokesman at a news conference broadcast by the channel "Al Jazeera":"The regime, with its current structure, and its political, economic, regional and international isolation, cannot overcome this crisis, which can only be overcome by the establishment of a new regime in Sudan that will restore the confidence of the people and international relations in a balanced manner based on mutual interests and mutual respect so that Sudan can be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism "it said.. "
The statement added: "The only way to remedy the imminent political and economic collapse is to take exceptional measures through the formation of a transitional sovereignty council to assume sovereignty, and to form a transitional government that combines competencies and political representation without quotas, in accordance with a program and priorities that will stop the economic collapse and end the isolation. Sudan ". Furthermore, the statement pointed out that the programme of the transitional government must "achieve peace, and oversee the holding of free and fair general elections, led by an agreed prime minister in whom competence, experience and national acceptance will be met."The statement stressed that the transitional government must "take fair measures. First, dissolve the National Assembly, the Council of States, appoint a national consensus council of 100 members, dissolve the state government and its legislative councils, set an appropriate date for elections according to progress in the file of peace and consultation with political forces, And the formation of the Electoral Commission and the National Committee of the Constitution. "
It is known that Sudan has been witnessing widespread popular protests because of the difficult economic conditions that started on December 19, 2018, following the government's decision to increase the price of the loaf of bread three times in a country suffering from a recession. Uprising erupted and began from the City of Atbara, followed by Damar, Berber, Karima, Sennar, Gedaref, Khartoum and Omdurman witnessed major demonstrations that resulted in the death and injury of dozens of citizens. The calls went to all the regions of Sudan in western Sudan, in the Darfur region, Kordofan, in eastern Sudan of Gedaref, Port Sudan and Khashm al-Girba, as well as the regular rallies of the Sudanese people in the Diaspora countries in North America, USA, Canada, Australia, European countries of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Netherlands and the countries of the African continent where all the Sudanese actively participated including young and old. The contribution of Sudanese women exceeded all perceptions. All the Sudanese Chanted the Same Famous Slogan: “Tasgot Bas” along with the Cheers that echo: “Freedom, Peace, justice and Revolution isPeople's Choice”!Omer al-Bashir's trips around the world to Cairo in Egypt, Ankara in Turkey, the Arab Gulf states and to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and elsewhere are not expected to be of any use to save him from the predicaments of his bad deeds of killing, corruption, racism, nepotism and the dilemma that brought the country into disaster and along with the destruction using the Demolition machine, the Pickaxe, during the three lean decades of failure and dictatorship.
It is noteworthy for the ongoing Sudanese people's uprising for the record that at last the Sudanese government has acknowledged the killing of 31 people since the start of protests demanding the departure of President Omar al-Bashir, while international human rights organisation and the Sudanese opposition forces numbering up to 51 peacefully demonstrating people were killed by the security forces made up of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS)in and the notorious former Janjaweed cloned militias, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF) at different parts of the country.
Since the beginning of the uprising, as of Monday 18 February 2019, the Sudanese people have gone on sixty-one consecutive days without stopping the marches and demonstrations against Omer al-Bashir and his government demanding to overthrow him and change to the rule of law and good governance and decent living for all without discrimination. Earlier, a group of professionals and the leaders of the Declaration of Freedom and Change announced for the first time the participation of opposition leaders and political forces in the rally on Thursday, called the "procession of departure" to the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, carrying a memorandum demanding the President to step down without any regrets to the demise of his hateful regime forever. The statement issued by the group of professionals and coalitions participating in the protests said Thursday this week "comes differently and we will all emerge from the tripartite National Capital of Sudan and from the regions and provinces in the procession of departure, which will go to the Presidential Palace in Khartoum, accompanied by political, civil, professional, social and religious leaders.https://sudanjem.com/2019/02/%D9%88%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%A9-%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%8A%D9%86%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D8%AE%D8%AA%D9%86%D8%A7%D9%82%D8%A7-%D8%A5%D8%AB%D8%B1-%D8%A7%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%82-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84/
In the previous period, heavy dust has erupted around the so-called shadow battalions referred to by the former First Vice-President Ali Osman Mohamed Taha in his dialogue with the channel (Sudanese 24). At the interview, Ali Osman said that the regime battalions were defending him even if it sacrificed the spirit for him. Some observers interpreted the speech of Ali Osman Mohammed Taha in the context of the threat of the battalions of hidden fighters will appear in the street, especially with these protests, and it was explained that what happens during the protests of the shooting and killing by masked armed forces as due to these battalions. However, the National Congress Party (NCP) spokespersons refuted it, saying that Ali Osman's remarks carried more than it carried and taken out of context. They are not battalions to fight, and Ali Osman himself said they understood in their own context.P resident al-Bashir's speech yesterday during his meeting with the Popular Defense Forces (PDF) recalled the previous controversy when he pointed out that the talk of the support brigades has been modified by what is understood as an attempt to remove the misunderstanding of the former Ali Osman talk about these battalions. The president Omer al-Bashir stressed that they are peaceful, said adding that they are brigades for development, reconstruction, human building and peace, but called for the formation of other battalions, but electronic.
The forces (masked) within the protests are what Ali Osman's shadow forces. What Omar al-Bashir said about the shadow forces of Ali Osman Mohamed Taha to justify these crimes will not change anything in the crimes committed by the regime, which continued its regime during the three decades against the people of Sudan.No matter how long it will take, the Sudanese people will be able to prosecute the elements in the (NCP) regime for the crimes they have committed and will not escape accountability, rule of law and transitional justice.
Christopher James Gilbert, better known by his pseudonym Criss Jami and by his alter ego the Killosopher, is an American poet, essayist, existentialist philosopher, songwriter, and the creator/designer of Killosopher Apparel has been quoted as saying: “Time and time again does the pride of man influence his very own fall. While denying it, one gradually starts to believe that he is the authority, or that he possesses great moral dominion over others, yet it is spiritually unwarranted. By that point he loses steam; in result, he falsely begins trying to prove that unwarranted dominion by seizing the role of a condemner.”https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/464083-time-and-time-again-does-the-pride-of-man-influence
It is worthy to quote some Excerpts from the Poetry of the Poet Ab? al-Q?sim ash-Sh?bb? the Tunisian poet who is probably best known for writing the final two verses of the current National Anthem of Tunisia, has said: “If the people one day will to live then destiny must respond and the night must disappear and the chain must break. Those who never been cuddled by the passion of life will evaporate in its air and perish. So if the souls will to live, then destiny must answer”!
Rights groups say more than 1,000 protesters including opposition leaders, activists and journalists were arrested on the streets during the almost daily demonstrations, which have been calling for President Omer al-Bashir to step down. The brutality and hostility of the security forces towards the protests is making people braver and braver - it feels like an unstoppable momentum for change as more people join them. Moreover, on Sunday 16th February 2019, the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA), which represents health workers, lawyers, teachers and others and has become the organiser of the demonstrations, posted that protests would take place in most residential areas of the capital, Khartoum.
The Sudanese people who have been peacefully protesting against repression demand greater support from the international community in its victorious revolution despite the intransigence of the ruling regime led by genocidal criminal Omer Hassan Ahmed al-Bashir. They say Speak up for supporting the people of Sudan. The people of Sudan are united more than ever demanding change in Sudan. Your voice can help bring their demands into reality.
With the upsurge and deep political and social growth of the Sudanese People's Resistance Movement now that if you addressed a stone in a side street of one of the streets of the Sudanese Capital Khartoum, it will tell you that the ruling regime of the National Congress Party (NCP) led by Omer al-Bashir and his entourage of the group of Masked Security Services is now disappearing or in the stage of clinical death. This is more so, being confronted by the huge unprecedented continuing Popular Uprising over the Past Sixty Two Days in all the regions of Sudan and Abroad among the Sudanese Diaspora.
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is http://thussudan.wordpress.com/
February 19, 2019 (KHARTOUM) - The opposition Sudan Call foreign relations official Yasir Arman Tuesday reiterated that the region's countries have no interest to back the regime of President Omer al-Bashir who is a source of regional instability.
Al-Bashir who is facing a national protest movement has received at least the political support of Arab and African leader who praised him as a factor of regional stability in South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
"Al-Bashir is a major cause of war in these countries and no one believes that al-Bashir makes peace, he is the maker of wars. So, you cannot give what you do not have," said the External Relations of the Sudan Call alliance Yasir Arman in statements extended to Sudan Tribune.
President Salva Kiir was one of the first leaders who called al-Bashir and praised publically his role to achieve the revitalized peace agreement.
Regarding Sudan participation in the Saudi-led war against the Iran-backed Houthi fighters in Yemen or al-Bashir visit to Syria, Arman wondered if Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have any interest to support a president who is "clinically dead", pointing that his partisans plan to reproduce an Islamist regime.
On Qatar, the opposition official said Doha has to review it policy on Sudan as the tiny Gulf state supported al-Bashir in the past years.
"This regime has no future and the continuation of the regime after Bashir is impossible. Qatar has a better chance of building new relations with the Sudanese people away from the experience of political Islam," he stressed.
Following the eruption of the anti-government protests, al-Bashir travelled to Doha and met with the Emir of Qatar, but he failed to get financial support from him.
Also, The pro-Qatar International Union for Muslim Scholars (IUMS) called on the Sudanese president to protect the right for peaceful expression and backed Sudanese scholars who advised al-Bashir to resign.
Analysts in Khartoum say Saudi Arabia wants al-Bashir without his Islamist backers while Qatar wants an Islamist regime without General al-Bashir.