Amnesty reports hanging of children on death row in South Sudan

Amnesty reports hanging of children on death row in South Sudan

Friday, December 7, 2018 8:07 pm

Children are among prisoners being hanged as South Sudan scales up executions, Amnesty International said on Friday in a report on the death penalty in the troubled country.

“Seven people, including one child, were hanged by the South Sudanese government in 2018, the most annual executions since the country’s founding in 2011.

“Two inmates who were children when they allegedly committed crimes were also executed in 2017,’’ the rights group said.

The rights group said that a 16-year-old boy, who was 15 at the time of his trial, and a woman with a newborn are currently on death row in a Juba prison.

According to Amnesty, it is extremely disturbing that the world’s youngest nation has embraced this outdated, inhuman practice and is executing people, even children.

Amnesty’s East Africa director Joan Nyanyuki said the heartless practice is still in trend at a time when the rest of the world is abandoning this abhorrent punishment.

South Sudan was embroiled for years in a brutal civil war until a recent peace deal was struck.

Armed groups in the country’s bitter conflict were known to use thousands of child soldiers.

International and national law strictly forbids the execution of anyone under 18 at the time of their alleged crime and also prohibits the execution of breastfeeding mothers.

According to the rights group, there are 342 people currently sentenced to death in the country.

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