August 8, 2020 (Thessherald)–A prominent South Sudanese activist and human rights defender, Peter Biar Ajak, has been accused of divulging highly classified information to one of the foreign companies operating in South Sudan.
In a statement extended to the media on Friday, the Press Secretary in the President’s office, Ateny Wek Ateny, explained that Peter Biar was colluding with foreigners spying on the country.
“As you all know, South Sudan is founded on the principles of equality, prosperity and justice for all. Upon gaining independence in 2011, the country has since striven to uphold the rule of law, and, among others, respect the bills of rights, including freedom of expression and assembly, which are enshrined in the constitution,” Ateny explained.
Adding that, “However, due to various internal conflicts, starting in 2013 through the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in September 2018, the Government has had difficulty in performing a delicate act of defending the sovereignty and rights of the citizens. While that has been a challenge, the country has performed its best, preserving its territorial integrity and protecting its people and their inalienable rights during the toughest of times.”
Ateny underscored that Peter Biar was allowed to exercise his constitutional rights to speak to the public as well as the foreign media.
“To this end, Peter has been accorded space per his constitutional right to organize events and speak freely against the Government policy and decisions. However, when an individual is suspected to have violated the established laws of the land, as is the case globally, the authorities are duty bound to investigate and follow the due procedures to get to the bottom of such suspicion. In 2018, South Sudanese authorities had such suspicion against Peter, consequently apprehending him.”
“Investigations that followed, indeed, implicated Peter. Like many of our citizens who sought refuge abroad in search of better opportunities, Peter obtained academic credentials from La Salle and Harvard universities, respectively.”
“Let us also touch on his humanitarian consultancy work. Peter signed a “Contract for Independent Service” in early 2018 with a Berlin based organization agency (name withheld). His undertakings with this agency and media presentations raised further suspicion and in July 2018, a warrant was issued for his immediate arrest.”
“The authorities confiscated Peter’s electronic devices for forensic analysis. Materials extracted from his computer and corroborated using online data confirmed the suspicion that Peter was, indeed, engaged in intelligence gathering, spying on military, intelligence agencies, and active Government officials, as well as colluding with violent oppositions.”