We at The Sentry are deeply saddened and appalled by the confirmation of the murders of Dong Samuel, a prominent human rights lawyer, and Aggrey Idri, a member of the SPLM-IO. Today, we join all those who knew them and worked with them, in sending our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. Any individuals and entities who ordered, participated in, or facilitated their abduction in Kenya and murder in South Sudan must be identified and face justice. In addition, we are calling for the United States and the international community to take decisive action, including through powers established by the South Sudan and Global Magnitsky sanctions programs, to create consequences for those involved in their extrajudicial execution.
This news brings to a tragic end many months of deep concern here at The Sentry. We have avoided public discussion of Dong’s abduction because we believed that knowledge of his association with The Sentry might put his life at further risk. Among his contributions to the field, Dong was instrumental in bringing forward critical information to our investigations and in widening our understanding of the challenges facing South Sudan.
Dong was heroic in this work and courageous in raising his voice on behalf of his people and his country, despite the risks he faced from those in power who preferred he remain silent. Dong was a valued colleague and partner to many in the field and he worked tirelessly to expose high level corruption and atrocities in South Sudan.