Amnesty to S. Sudan: Release all arbitrarily detained

Head of human rights group writes open letter to S. Sudanese president over enforced disappearances, detentions, deaths

Amnesty to S. Sudan: Release all arbitrarily detained

World Bulletin / News Desk

Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty urged Tuesday the release of all people detained without charges by the South Sudanese security agencies in an open letter to President Salva Kiir.

Shetty's letter came less than three weeks after Kiir's public pledge to release political detainees. The president had announced his plans during a national address on March 10.

"Since the start of South Sudan’s ongoing conflict in December 2013, the National Security Service (NSS) and the Military Intelligence Directorate have carried out hundreds of arbitrary arrests, prolonged detentions and enforced disappearances of individuals perceived as government opponents.

"Detainees are held without charge or being presented in court, they are often subjected to torture or other ill treatment, are regularly denied access to their family members, and are not provided with adequate medical care. Numerous detainees have died or been killed while in the custody of government security agencies," the letter said.

Shetty said that the detainees were held "without due process of law, in violation of South Sudan’s Constitution as well as its obligations under international law."

"We urge you to ensure that these individuals are released, or, if credible evidence of a recognised offence exists, promptly charged and presented in court. We also urge South Sudan to publicly disclose the fate and whereabouts of detainees who have been subjected to enforced disappearances, and to investigate the circumstances under which other detainees have died while in government custody," he said.

Shetty also urged Kiir "to ensure independent, prompt and effective investigations into the arbitrary detention practices of government security agencies, including enforced disappearances, deaths in custody, torture and other ill-treatment, to publicly disclose the findings and to hold perpetrators of human rights violations accountable in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty."

"Victims of arbitrary detention and torture and relatives of individuals who have died or 'disappeared' while in government custody should be provided with reparation, including financial compensation and physical and psychological rehabilitation," he added.

The letter included a list of 28 "confirmed" political detainees at the headquarters of the national intelligence agency in the capital, Juba, along with a list of "victims of enforced disappearance", and those who "died in government custody while arbitrarily detained without being charged or presented in court".

At least 20 men have died in detention at three separate detention centres in Juba between February 2014 and December 2016, according to the Amnesty.   

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Mart 2017, 18:31