International hip hop star and renowned peace activist Emmanuel Jal was badly beaten by police in the South Sudanese capital of Juba last night on 8 September 2012.
At approximately 9:30pm, Emmanuel was en route to the Gatwich guesthouse in the outskirts of Juba when he was stopped by police and robbed of his mobile phone. Determined not to use or respond in violence, he was repeatedly beaten by 5 police and national security officers until he eventually lost consciousness.
A group of approximately 15 police and national security officers watched on as Emmanuel was beaten.
It appears that Emmanuel was randomly attacked in an unfortunate and unprovoked example of police brutality. The incident has been reported and an investigation is underway.
Emmanuel is in Juba to highlight International Peace Day with the anticipated "We Want Peace" Business Gala and concert on 20 & 21 September 2012. The scheduled events are due to take place at Juba's Independence hall. His dedication to peace and stability in his home country and across the globe has brought him to Juba to bring together members of the business, humanitarian and public spheres in a bid to responsibly invest toward South Sudan's progressive development.
Despite his injuries, he remains adamant to ensure his message of peace is heard and provides the following statement:
"I am in South Sudan to highlight peace and have come to speak and perform at the "We Want Peace" business gala and concert on International Peace Day. Two days after arriving in my home country I was attacked by members of Juba's police and national security. This is an ironic and sad situation that will not deter my path for freedom, equality and justice. I am swollen, but recovering, and thank all the fans and supporters for their well wishes.
I would like to express that abuse of power should not be tolerated on any level. South Sudan must move forward with positivity and equality. Tribalism, police brutality, corruption and other problems of de-stabilization must be highlighted and stopped in order for the country to progress.
I am releasing this statement because I was raised in an environment where speaking out against injustice is always considered a route for peace. Let us continue to put a spotlight on such dark issues, for it is the best solution in paving a way for our bright future"