FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UNLAWFUL ARRESTS, DISAPPEARANCE AND DETENTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
DEFENDERS IN SOUTH SUDAN
.
Pretoria
, (11
th
August 2017)
-
We welcome the announcement by Jalban Obaj, the Director of Legal
Affairs at the Internal Security Bureau of the National Security
Service that the body has released 30
political prisoners.
We  note  with  great  concern  that  this  gesture  is  cosmetic  because  t
housands  of  South  Sudanese  and
foreigners are still unlawfully detained across South Sudan.
It is very disturbing, however, that while government is releasing a
handful of political prisoners, it is
also arresting and detaining many more opponents, human
rights defenders and civil society activists
unlawfully.
There  are  credible  report
s
of  government  operatives  hunting,  harassing  and  kidnapping  political
opponents,  human  rights  defenders  and  South  Sudanese  civil
society  activists  in  the  neighbouring
countr
ies of Kenya and Uganda.
We  draw  the  attention  of  the  Government  to  the  fact
that  mass  arrests  of  government  opponents
including house arrests and unlawfully muzzling of peaceful dissent is
against the constitution of the
Republic of South Sudan
We therefore call upon the government
of South Sudan to release all political prisoners including those
under  house  arrest  unconditionally.  We  urge  the  international
community  not  to  reward  the  Kiir
’
s
administration  for  its  cosmetic  gesture  releasing  handful  of
prisoners  while  the  bulk  of  politi
cal
prisoners  are  languishing  in  detention  centres  across  the
country  under horrible conditions  including
tortures.
The recent decision by the government to ban several web
-
based news outlets in South Sudan
is another
manifestation of the
G
overnment
’
s policy to
silent
dissent
and to
muzzle the press and curtail freedom
of speech at a time when South Sudanese are urged to participate
in
a national dialogue to find a peaceful
solution to the four years of conflict in South Sudan.
About SSHRO
South Su
dan Human Rights Observatory (SSHRO) is a network of South Sudanese and non
-
South Sudanese volunteers from
different backgrounds and with different expertise who are
committed to documenting and disseminating reliable information
about human rights violati
ons in South Sudan.
END

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