Amnesty International has today launched its global human rights campaign, Write for Rights, whereby millions of its supporters worldwide write letters for people whose rights are under threat, or are being violated.
Among other young people, this year Amnesty International is campaigning to save 17-year old Magai Matiop Ngong from being executed. Magai was sentenced to death in November 2017 while still a child, in contravention of both South Sudanese law and international law.
We are calling on everyone to join millions of Amnesty International members and supporters worldwide and write a letter to President Salva Kiir calling on him to commute Magai’s death sentence.Seif Magango, Amnesty International's Deputy Director East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes
“We are calling on everyone to join millions of Amnesty International members and supporters worldwide and write a letter to President Salva Kiir calling on him to commute Magai’s death sentence,” said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
Before his life changed after being found guilty of murder, Magai was in secondary school and had dreams of helping people when he grew up.
“Before the accident, I was in secondary school. I was a runner, a very good one and I was also a singer of gospel and earthly songs. … My own aim was to study and do things that can help others. My hope is to be out and to continue with my school,” Magai told Amnesty International last year.
Before the accident, I was in secondary school. I was a runner, a very good one and I was also a singer of gospel and earthly songs. … My own aim was to study and do things that can help others. My hope is to be out and to continue with my school.Magai Matiop Ngong, 17-year old on death row
He is currently detained at Juba Central Prison and spends every day in fear of being executed.
When Magai was 15 years old, he got into a physical fight with a neighbor. When his cousin tried to stop the fight, Magai took his father’s gun and fired warning shots to the ground. One bullet bounced off the ground and hit his cousin, who later died in hospital.
During his trial, Magai did not have a lawyer to represent him as required by law. He told the court his cousin’s death was an accident. He was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death. He eventually got a lawyer who is helping him appeal this judgement.
Help Magai live by writing a letter to President Kiir, or sign this petition asking him to commute Magai’s death sentence. The death penalty is the most cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and it violates the right to life.
You can also show Magai that you care about him by sending him a card or a letter of solidarity. Please take a photo of your message before sending it off and post it on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media you use, using the hashtag #InSolidarityWithMagai
On Twitter, use the same hashtag and tag your tweets to @RepSouthSudan and/or @PresSalva and @AmnestyEARO.
The use of the death penalty against children is strictly prohibited by Section 21(2) the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 and under international human rights law, specifically Article 37(a) of the Convention on the Rights of a Child, to which South Sudan is a party.
The death penalty is the carefully thought-out, cold-blooded killing of a human being by the government in the name of justice.