A rebuttal to the Sudan Tribune report that published my name among South Sudan government alleged corrupt officials and beneficiaries of the misappropriated funds of the Crisis Management Committee
By Biel Boutros Biel, Currently in Exile
March 12, 2017 (SSB) — Dear family members, friends, colleagues and members of the public, I would like to inform you that I have come to learn that my name has been published among the alleged suspects and beneficiaries of the alleged misappropriated funds of the 2014 South Sudan’s Crisis Management Committee formed by the government of South Sudan under Salva Kiir. The committee was meant to preach lies to cover up fabrications of a false coup alleged to have happened on 15 December 2013 in Juba, South Sudan.
I want to categorically state that including my name as one of the alleged corruption beneficiaries, is a desperate attempt by a desperate regime, is a big lie, an organised blackmailing and a scheme intended by Juba regime to divert public attention from their plan to kidnap and deport me to Juba as planned over the last one month or so. No one, even a coached witness can face me in a court of law to produce any evidence against me on this allegation. SIMPLE COMMON SENSE: HOW COULD I BE BENEFICIARY OF LOOTS OF A REGIME THAT IS YEARNING TO HARM ME JUST BECAUSE OF MY HUMAN RIGHTS WORK THAT EXPOSES ITS HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? The agents are in a complete despair!
However, I suspect the following reasons why my name is included on the list of the alleged CMC Corruption suspects and beneficiaries:
- To silence me; as this is intended to preempt the reaction of the organisation(SSHURSA) which I head, that is likely to condemn the alleged scandal as it has always done on public issues of South Sudan.
The intention seems to be that, if my name is included, there will be no reaction of condemning or calling for justice against the suspects or further investigations as there can likely be conflict of interests since I am the head of the outspoken SSHURSA(The agents are deadly wrong on this, I have been one of the leaders leading campaigns against corruption in South Sudan since 2011. See THE NILES: South Sudan’s president criticised for protecting corrupt officials: http://www.theniles.org/en/articles/politics/1230/).
- Publishing my name among the alleged corruption suspects, is a security making which must have been probably calculated to justify my kidnapping, arrest and deportation to South Sudan wherever I am found since the agents are already looking for me.
This is to glorify their recent huntdown on me due to my human rights work against their violations of human rights and abuses of rule of law in South Sudan. They think so, in the sense that, since I may be publicly considered a corruption beneficiary to be arrested, it will be easy for them to justifiably look for me in exile, kidnap me and deport me. This is to divert public attention and assistance on my case already.
- It is an attempt to publicly spoil my good name and reputation since the government and its security machinery failed to kidnap and deport me to Juba over the last one month in which they have been determined to do so.
This blackmailing is part of Juba regime’s practices in a bid to spoil the names of those who expose its evils, human rights violations, blatant dismantling of the 2015 Peace Agreement in which they detest formation of Transitional Justice Institutions especially the Hybrid Court for South Sudan as those who feel guilty before trials due to the abuses they have committed against the innocent civilians of South Sudan, resort to, in order to silence those who expose them. I have no plan to remain silent on what my conscience believes to be right. I am one of the voices representing the republic of the vulnerable and I will continue to speak out till the end of my life.
- Including my name is intended to provoke me to widely go public so that, the government and its security agents have a tip of my whereabouts in order to execute their evil transactional plan of kidnapping and deporting me to South Sudan which has been their prime aim. Well, if this, being a part of their grand mission of silencing human rights defenders and critics to Juba regime’s abuses of the dignity of ordinary citizens, I am then on the public now.
- Mistake: The last reason I would least assume as must have been why my name was included in the report, could be that, a mistake might have happened to include it. That perhaps, there was indeed no evil intention to add my name but since this name is almost everywhere, a mistake must have happened! Who could do that mistake? —— was it those who wrote the report or Sudan Tribune that has published the report? I assume that Sudan Tribune only published a report already prepared from a certain office and could possibly not have added the names it would wish to appear on the list.
How could a mistake happen when an official report is assumed to have gone through official hands to edit and confirm its genuineness? I then rule out a mistake—-it was intentionally included probably.
- How could I be a part of the alleged corruption when the Crisis Management Committee was formed with sole intention to cover up the massacre of my fellow citizens more especially my relatives such as cousin Peter Gai Jiel and others in Juba and where I personally survived on 16 December 2013 at Munuki Mia-Savaa(107)?
- How could I partake in the money that was taken from public funds to facilitate lies which glorify false coup that led to the intensified crackdown of human rights defenders especially those like myself who called for African Union and United Nations to investigate abuses?
- How on earth could I have allowed myself to benefit in a blood money intended by a regime whose policies led to my being in exile twice?(2013 and 2016 again to present).
- In what way could I have an access and being in association with people who are yearning to harm me? Or was the SSP 102, 409 alleged that I have benefited from was just spent by somebody called “Biel Boutros, Civil Society Activist” as written on the list without my notice?
- In which bank was that money sent? When? Where? Who sent it? How was it sent? Who received and withdrew it? Or where was it given to me? When, how and by who?
- Who is connected to me in the CMC officials as a relative who could at least in a remote scenario be suspected to have given me the money as his or her beneficiary? NO BODY at all!
- WHICH WORK WAS I GIVEN TO DO BY THE CMC AS A CIVIL SOCIETY TO WARRANT ME BEING GIVEN AS A BENEFICIARY OF THE CMC ALLEGED MISAPPROPRIATED FUNDS?
I challenge anyone in the regime who can respond to these questions in the affirmative.
As far as I know and as my conscience is concerned, no one has evidence against me on the alleged scandal. Inclusion of my name is baseless and unfounded. This has made me to therefore, come to the same conclusion that, this is a plan of Juba regime or its agents or anyone close to the regime who fears me for any reason. It is a desperate attempt to divert the public attention from their plan to kidnap and deport me to Juba due to exposing the human rights abuses of the regime and their resistance to criminal justice.
THIS NEW PLAN WON’T SILENCE ME AT ALL. The allegation instead, emboldens our struggle against injustice, abuses of human rights, rule of law and humiliation of the dignity of innocent people especially women and girls in South Sudan today.
This is legally a case of defamation:
Defamation under a common law can be simply defined as deliberate utterance or publication of false statement to a third party about a person or his or her profession which is intended to damage that person’s good name or reputation normally in the thinking of right-minded members of the society. It is called slander when it is made by words of mouth and libel when it is made in a permanent form such as a written one which in the form of a report Sudan Tribune has published.
WAY FORWARD ON MY PART:
- To be free from malice, I request Sudan Tribune online to send me the full original report so that I know clearly who the author of the report is——Is it the office of Juba regime’s Vice President Mr. James Wani Igga as stated in charge of the CMC or who else? Please Sudan Tribune, send to me the report on my email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- I appeal to any office or person including Sudan Tribune that published the report to clarify its position on how my name got into the list.
- I am ready to launch a law suit against the office or person who authors the report and falsely included my name. This is a criminal defamation in South Sudanese laws.
As Executive Director and human rights defender with strong conviction on justice, on behalf of SSHURSA and my own behalf, I condemn the misappropriation of the public funds and call for full investigations.
Personally, I am ready to go to court of law established outside South Sudan to challenge any person or office who or which claims to have evidence against me as a part of the scandal under which my name has been falsely added.
Finally, I want to assure the regime and its agents or whoever doing the tasks of the regime in vilifying my good name that, no amount of intimidation and persecution will coerce me to silence.
My colleagues and I in SSHURSA will continue to expose the abuses of human rights in South Sudan and will carry on massive campaigns regionally and internationally until the perpetrators are criminally held accountable.
This has been the trends in dictatorial regimes in other countries where false charges are leveled against human rights defenders especially lawyers to lower their reputation in the eye of the right-thinking members of the society but the lies cannot win and I assure those who add my name once identified, will end up facing justice themselves.
Thanks to those who bring the matter to my attention and to the public, my pure conscience remains my innocence.
Despite this mockery of the victims by Juba regime, I urge all sane minded South Sudanese and friends, to continue the struggle for a just and human rights abiding South Sudan. Do not give up once you are blackmailed as this to me. Truth will triumph at the end.
Biel Boutros Biel (Currently in exile)
Executive Director, South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA)
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