Civil Society of South Sudan expresses concern in Human Rights Council

June 25, 2013

On 12 June 2013 Rachel Nicholson, on behalf of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), delivered an oral statement to the UN Human Rights Council. It  started by congratulating South Sudan for its recent decision to accede to a number of international and regional human rights conventions. The government has made positive public commitments in the field of human rights. In this line, the decision to put forward South Sudan as a pilot country for implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity should be commended and followed through with concrete action. However, the statement also made also clear that continuing threats and attacks against journalists and other members of civil society demonstrate the urgency of addressing this issue. Isaiah Abraham was a regular contributor to a number of well-known news websites in South Sudan. On 5th December 2012, he was shot dead in a Juba suburb. Since then, UNMISS reports at least 18 incidents of arbitrary arrest, detention and harassment of journalists and other individuals. South Sudan must ensure that such attacks are properly investigated and ensure that perpetrators are held to account, including where security forces are alleged to be responsible. EHAHRDP shares the concerns voiced by South Sudanese civil society about the Voluntary and Non-Governmental Humanitarian Organizations Bill currently before Parliament. The draft legislation threatens to hamper the work of human rights defenders. We urge the government to take into account recommendations made by the Civil Society Working Group on the bill to explicitly allow advocacy work on human rights issues and to ensure that its provisions are not overly burdensome.

via Oral Intervention to HRC on Human Rights Defenders in South Sudan – East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project.

 

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