Amnesty International Urges South Sudan to Address National Security Service Violations and Crimes

AI Index: AFR 65/0011/2019 12 March 2019

Speaking at the UN Human Rights Council today, Amnesty International said they shared the concerns of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in South Sudan over the continued impunity for crimes committed during the conflict and the illegal conduct of the National Security Service (NSS) that, as noted in the Commission’s report, risks turning “South Sudan into a police state built on fear and corruption.”

Amnesty International’s research has found that the National Security Service and Military Intelligence have arbitrarily arrested, detained, tortured and ill-treated hundreds of people since the start of the conflict in December 2013, some to the point of death. People have been forcibly disappeared and continue to be harassed, arrested and detained without charge, and kept in holding facilities with no access to their families, medical treatment, or legal representation. Amnesty International urges the Government to amend the 2014 National Security Service Act to make it compliant with international human rights law.

Amnesty International is extremely concerned about the use of the death penalty in South Sudan. In February 2019 alone, the authorities executed at least seven people. This is as many as were executed in the whole of 2018. Amnesty International calls on the Government to establish an official moratorium on executions, with a view towards abolishing the death penalty.

The Commission’s report makes clear the need for independent investigations and prosecutions into alleged violations of international humanitarian law, including killing of civilians and sexual violence. The Commission’s mandate is unique and crucial in this regard, and Amnesty International called on all States at the Human Rights Council, including South Sudan, to support its full renewal under Item 4 during its current session.

Public Document Amnesty International, Office for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, 3rd Flr Parkfield Place, Kanjata Road, off Waiyaki Way Westlands, Nairobi, Kenya ****************************************