By Adia Jildo
Seven inmates have been bailed from Juba Central Prison by the Somali Business Association in Juba through Islamic Council for the reason that debt cases are minor.
The Director for Juba Central Prison, Bak Anyar Kagar said the inmates were released due to the payment of the fines by a group of sympathizers.
“We were requested a week ago when the Somali Business Community came and requested for those who have fines of 50,000 and less than that. We sorted it and made the list,” he said.
“Today, we are going to release them because their debts have been paid by the donation of money by the Somali Business Association through the Islamic council,” the prison official continued.
He said that there is quite a number of prisoners who are jailed because they owed debts, adding that they will remain in prison until they pay off their debts.
“Those who owe debts of about 50,000 can range from 200 -300 inmates. If you take the money of somebody and did not pay; you can remain in prison until you pay,” he stated.
He called on the government to help the court speed up cases for those not guilty to be released.
Abdullah Hassan Ali, the Chief Executive Officer of the Somali Business Association said the facilitation to bail out the inmates was to enable those who had served their bail terms and only had minor debts to be set free.
“This is the beginning. There are a lot of procedures which takes long, it will not be the last one that we shall bail out,” he said.
In addition, Abdullah said they had an aim to bail non-criminals who had small offenses which will reduce the number of congestions in the prison.
This act of kindness was to celebrate Eid. The total of these minor debts was 267,500 South Sudanese Pounds.
Among the 7 bailed inmates were a 25-year-old Kenyi Justin, Bol Manuel Kwen a 25-year-old who owed 15,000 South Sudanese Pounds, Ater Ben Atebeny of 21 years who owed 50,000 South Sudanese Pounds and had been put in custody at Kator police station.
Speaking to the media after the release, one of the prisoners commended the Somali business association and Islamic Council and the Somali businessmen in Juba.
A 25-year-old Kenyi Justin, said he was imprisoned for 5-years in lieu of 2,500 South Sudanese Pounds debt.
“I am very happy that I am out now. I want the youth outside there to be serious with their lives. If you have a debt, please pay it early before something happens,” he said.
Another prisoner, Gore Jackson Gore was convicted by Kator court and brought to Juba Central Prison for owing 50,000 South Sudanese Pounds.
One more, a 30-year-old Peter Akuch Madit was convicted from Gudele court for owing 50,000 South Sudanese Pounds.
Similarly, Simon Lemi Laku one of the inmates who was convicted by a Mobile court in Juba had a debt of 50,000 South Sudanese Pounds; and Bol Deng Luke among the prisoners was also arrested for 50,000 South Sudanese Pounds debt.