Urgent Action: FORCEFULLY RETURNED CRITIC HELD INCOMMUNICADO (South Sudan: UA 17.23)
February 10, 2023
On 4 February, Morris Mabior Awikjok Bak, a South Sudanese critic, was reportedly arbitrarily arrested, allegedly by armed Kenyan security forces and a South Sudanese man in civilian dress in Nairobi, Kenya where he resides. It is believed he was forcefully returned to Juba, South Sudan and is being held in incommunicado detention at a National Security Service detention facility. The South Sudanese authorities must clarify and reveal Morris Mabior Awikjok Bak’s fate and whereabouts, ensure he has regular access to his family, a lawyer and a doctor, and unless he is charged with an internationally recognisable offence, immediately release him.
Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on April 7, 2023.
Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to the government official listed below. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 17.23. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
President of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit
Ambassador Philip Jada Natana Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan
1015 31st Street NW Suite 300, Washington DC 20007
Phone: 202 293 7940 I Fax: 202 293 7941
Contact form: https://bit.ly/2MxNx4r
Salutation: Dear Ambassador
An eyewitness told Amnesty International that, on 4 February, armed Kenyan security forces and a South Sudanese man in civilian clothing arbitrarily arrested Morris Mabior Awikjok Bak, a South Sudanese critic, in the neighbourhood where he was living in Nairobi, Kenya.
Amnesty International has reason to believe that Morris Mabior Awikjok Bak was forcefully returned to Juba, South Sudan where he arrived on 5 or 6 February and was brought to a National Security Service (NSS) detention facility. According to family members, Morris Mabior Awikjok Bak is being held incommunicado. Detention without access to the outside world – incommunicado detention – facilitates torture and other ill-treatment and enforced disappearance. In some circumstances, it can itself constitute torture and other ill-treatment.
The South Sudanese authorities have a history of using unlawful surveillance to track South Sudanese dissidents and critics – including human rights defenders and activists, who have left South Sudan for Kenya – arbitrarily arresting or forcefully disappearing them, and illegally transferring them back to South Sudan where they are held in secret arbitrary detention by the NSS in multiple facilities, including at the NSS’s detention facility at their headquarters known as “Blue House”, and, at times, subjected to torture and other ill-treatment. Some have later been extrajudicially executed.
I call on you to use your authority to immediately release Morris Mabior Awikjok Bak, unless he is charged with a criminal offence recognizable under international law and ensure his freedom to leave South Sudan should he wish to do so. Pending his release, he must be protected from torture and other ill-treatment and granted regular access to his family, any healthcare he may require from a qualified medical practitioner and a lawyer of his choice.