Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, will tomorrow (Friday 1 February) be attending a march arranged by the University of Cambridge Amnesty International Society and the African Society of Cambridge University, for Dr Peter Biar Ajak, a former University of Cambridge PhD student who has been detained without charge in South Sudan for the past six months.
Mr Zeichner has been coordinating with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Sudan and South Sudan and other organisations in their efforts to raise serious concerns about the arbitrary arrest of Peter Biar Ajak on Saturday 28 July by the Government of South Sudan.
In a letter to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, he called on the UK Government to urge the authorities in South Sudan to guarantee his release, to provide decent conditions for all detainees, and to permit visitation rights for their families.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “I share the deep concern about Dr Ajak’s arrest and continued detention. Peter is the Founder and Chairperson of the South Sudanese Young Leaders Forum, an organisation committed to achieving peace in South Sudan, and he was also the first South Sudanese student at the University of Cambridge.”
“I am very happy to lend my support to this action to help raise awareness of the serious violations of human rights Dr Ajak’s case highlights. If long-term peace is to be secured in South Sudan, authorities must abide by international standards and their own constitution, by guaranteeing the right of personal liberty and due process.”
An open letter has been set up by former colleagues at the University of Cambridge requesting Dr Peter Biar Ajak’s immediate release, with more than 450 signatures so far from the academic community. A wider Change.org petition has over 80,000 signatures.