Rights Group Calls for the Resignation of Minister Salva Mathok and Thorough Investigations on the Murder of Banyjioth Mathoat Tap

SSHURSA calls for the Resignation of Minister Salva Mathok and thorough investigations on the murder of Banyjioth Mathoat Tap

Press Statement
April 6, 2013

Juba, April 9, 2013 (SSNA) — The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) has been shocked again by the murder of a 25 year old Banyjioth Mathoat Tap from Mayom County in Unity State.We send our heartfelt condolences to the family and we assured you that SSHURSA and its entire staff will stand with you to the finishing end when justice is done.

The loss of your son is a great loss to all sane South Sudanese and human rights defenders everywhere because he was and is a human being like any of us.

BanyjIoth had his body found on March 30, 2013 at Tongpiny Residential Area in Capital Juba. He was murdered under yet unascertained circumstances though allegations per his death are circumstantially implicating the Deputy Minister of Interior General Salva Mathok Gengdit as linked to his premises.

“This is another hopeless incident as like the case of Isaiah Abraham’s murder which is still lingering in our minds and hearts. It’s a very sad news and big blow to the fight against impunity on the violations of human rights and rule of law in South Sudan, where security of ordinary but innocent citizens is at stake” Stated Biel Boutros Biel, the Executive Director of SSHURSA.

“Whoever has committed this crime, SSHURSA condemns this cowardice and brutal act meted on innocent and ordinary citizen like Banyjioth. The murder barely comes four months after the murder of our brother and colleague the late Isaiah Abraham who was assassinated by unknown armed persons on December 5, 2012 at his house of Gudele West Residential Area in Juba yet the state has remained silent in doing justice to his family, are we not a failed state if we are honest now?” Biel wondered.

“For the death of Isaiah, we had called for justice to be done and Ministers of Security and interior to resign but who listened to the appeals we made? ——-we pointed fingers to the state that it was responsible for the murder, it never proved our assertion wrong apart from wild proclamations of having apprehended the accused persons and until another innocent soul is murdered again the impunity goes on unabated, this is intolerable anymore” Biel again said.

On this second high profile murder, SSHURSA makes the following statements:

1. The Deputy Minister Salva Mathok Gengdit must resign immediately because he is one of those tasked with the security and the safety of the citizens in the city and countrywide and if his premises are linked as murder scene then that is a clear sign of a failed state in protecting the people. To pave thorough investigations, he should resign with immediate effect.
2. We call upon the President of the Republic Salva Kiir Mayardit to relieve Deputy Minister Salva Mathok Gengdit if he fails to resign on his own immediately.
3. We call upon the Members of National Legislative Assembly to impeach the Deputy Minister upon his failure to resign and on failure of the President to relieve him from his position.
4. We call upon the family of the deceased to have more courage to come out clearly to help the struggle against impunity until justice is done for the late Banyjioth
5. We call upon the public to remain calm as investigations are ongoing.

Why SSHURSA needs Deputy Minister to resign:

1. The allegations linking the murder to his premises are a bad sign of a failed state and failure of the entire security sector in the Ministry of Interior.
2. The act is one of the brutal organized crimes, being a clear violation of the right to life as stipulated under Article 11 of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011 and Article 3 of the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948.
3. If the Deputy Minister cannot resign while allegations of the murder are linked to his premises, naturally, it is clear, that there will be no fair and free investigations of the murder as there is clear direct conflict of interest.
4. We call upon the office of the Prosecutor General of South Sudan to institute separate independent investigations of the case as to remove conflict of interest within the Ministry of Interior

What SSHURSA needs to happen:

1. Thorough investigations must be done immediately to clearly locate the culprits and the suspects be brought to justice and if found guilty, be punished in accordance with the law.
2. If the Deputy Minister is found truly linked to the allegations, he should face justice and punished in accordance with the law.
3. The incident must serve as a case to end impunity and abuses of power by any person in South Sudan if the Deputy Minister is linked to the crime.
4. If the Deputy Minister is found guilty, the entire Ministry of Interior leadership from the Minister to the Inspector General must be dissolved and we call upon the Parliament to ensure soon after the investigations that the dismissal of such failed leadership in the Ministry of Interior is implemented.

SSHURSA stance:

“The South Sudan Human Rights Society will fight on all these evils against human rights and abuses of rule of law and under whatever price, we are prepared to pay”. Biel remarked.

South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) is an incorporated non political and nonprofit making national Human Rights organization founded in June 2007 by South Sudanese Lawyers and Law Students at Makerere Law Development Centre (LDC), Kampala-Uganda. In 2009,its operations started in South Sudan with its head office in Juba and co-ordination offices in other states. Its vision is to advocate for a democratic and human rights abiding South Sudan and with its mission; to monitor, document and publish human rights status in South Sudan and also train general public on the importance of human rights, fundamental freedoms of an individual, Rule of Law and democracy, all geared towards creating a more responsible, justice and good governance oriented South Sudan.

SSHURSA pays special focus on the rights of children, persons with disabilities and women groups.

For more information, contact SSHURSA on: E-mail: [email protected]; Tel: +211955300382/+211921114362, Juba, South Sudan

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