Originally published on August 20, 2014, at ForceChange.com
Target: Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of South Sudan
Goal: Investigate the assassination attempt against a prominent human rights activist
A human rights activist known for his anti-corruption campaigning was speaking outside with his friends when a man armed with an AK-47 fired at him. The human rights defender was wounded in the leg before the gunman escaped. No one has been arrested for the attempted murder. Demand that the government of South Sudan launch a full investigation into this attempted murder.
Advocating for the people of South Sudan, Deng Athuai Mawiir had recently called for accountability for murdered civilians in the current armed conflict. Although armed security personnel witnessed the assassination attempt against Mawiir, none attempted to apprehend the gunman.
In early July 2012, Mawiir was kidnapped and beaten for his work exposing corruption scandals. Mawiir was physically assaulted for three days in an attempt to intimidate him. Threatened with violence and assassination attempts, Mawiir continues to defend human rights in South Sudan.
The government of South Sudan must investigate this recent assassination attempt and prosecute the gunman responsible for nearly taking Mawiir’s life. Allowing the gunman to escape punishment will only encourage others to embrace the path of violence. The people of South Sudan deserve better than witnessing their human rights activists being kidnapped and shot.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir Mayardit, to investigate this recent assassination attempt and actively prosecute the individual responsible for shooting Deng Athuai Mawiir.
Dear President Salva Kiir Mayardit,
I am calling upon you to investigate the assassination attempt against human rights activist Deng Athuai Mawiir. While exposing corruption and seeking justice for murdered civilians, Mawiir was shot for his actions. Instead of attempting to apprehend the gunman, armed security personnel allowed the suspect to escape.
Mawiir was previously kidnapped and tortured for three days because of his defense of human rights. His work against corruption and abuse has placed his life at risk. Ignoring this recent assassination attempt will merely encourage more violence against human rights activists in your country.
Don’t allow homicidal maniacs to intimidate human rights defenders in South Sudan. Investigate the assassination attempt and prosecute the gunman responsible for nearly taking Mawiir’s life.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Steve Evans via Flickr