Prominent South Sudan activist pardoned but not yet freed

JUBA (AP) — A lawyer said a prominent South Sudan activist and economist has not been freed from prison despite being pardoned in a presidential decree.

Ajak Mayol Bior said on Friday that the decree issued on Thursday evening must be implemented so Peter Biar Ajak can walk free.

Human rights groups and others had protested Ajak’s arrest in 2018 without government explanation. He was sentenced to two years in prison last year after being accused of inciting an uprising behind bars.

South Sudan’s Justice and Interior ministries were processing the presidential order pardoning some 30 inmates on Friday.

South Sudan was meant to free all political prisoners under a peace deal signed in September 2018 to end a five-year civil war that killed almost 400,000 people.

In this file photo, prominent South Sudanese activist and economist Peter Biar Ajak prepares to embrace his wife as she weeps after he was sentenced to two years in prison, in a courtroom in South Sudan. PHOTO: AP