Sudanese Peace Activist Beaten in South Sudan

By James Colten 09-10-2012
Emmanuel Jal

Image via Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/ File:Emmanuel_Jal_by_David_Shankbone.jpg

Emmanuel Jal—South Sudanese pop musician, rapper, and peace activist—was beaten and robbed this past weekend by Police in Juba, South Sudan (Rolling Stone). Jal, a former child soldier, was in his homeland promoting an upcoming concert on International Peace Day in two weeks.

AllAfrica reports:

“At approximately 9:30pm, Emmanuel was en route to the Gatwich guesthouse in the outskirts of Juba when he was stopped by police and robbed of his mobile phone. Imminent not to use violence, he was repeatedly beaten by 5 police and national security officers until he eventually lost consciousness.

“A group of approximately 15 police and national security officers watched on as Emmanuel was beaten.

“It appears that Emmanuel was randomly attacked in an unfortunate and unprovoked example of police brutality. The incident has been reported and an investigation is underway.”

While swollen and recovering, Jal offered a response that reflects his dedication to peace

"This is an ironic and sad situation that will not deter my path for freedom, equality and justice. I am swollen, but recovering, and thank all the fans and supporters for their well wishes.

I would like to express that abuse of power should not be tolerated on any level. South Sudan must move forward with positivity and equality. Tribalism, police brutality, corruption and other problems of de-stabilisation must be highlighted and stopped in order for the country to progress.

I am releasing this statement because I was raised in an environment where speaking out against injustice is always considered a route for peace. Let us continue to put a spotlight on such dark issues, for it is the best solution in paving a way for our bright future."

Watch his "We Want Peace" and "We Fall" music videos below. Learn more about his We Want Peace Movement or listen to his TED talk

James Colten is Assistant to the CEO at Sojourners. Follow him on Twitter (@jamescolten). 

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