Activist Resource Community Urgent Actions Blog Archive Tumblr Medium
TAGS: Individuals at Risk, Urgent Action Network • Communities at Risk, Detention and Imprisonment, Fair Trials, Freedom of Expression, Human Rights Defenders, Illegal and Indefinite Detention, Police and Human Rights, Prisoners and People at Risk • Africa, Sudan •
April 15, 2016

Urgent Action Update: Three Freed, Four More Arbitrarily Detained (South Sudan: UA 87/16)

Two of the 30 men who had been in arbitrary detention in the prison at the National Security Service (NSS) headquarters were released. At least five more were detained, but one of them was released on 17 December. There are currently at least 32 men arbitrarily detained in the NSS prison. 
A total of at least 32 men arrested during different times since January 2014 are in arbitrary detention in the National Security Service (NSS prison). Most are accused of having some affiliation with the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO), but none has been charged with any offence. They have been denied the right to be brought promptly before a judge and the right to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. Some of these detainees are being held incommunicado, without access to family members or a lawyer.
Until September 2016 the group included 30 men but two were released. Recent detainees include: Justin Wanis, the former Director of Investment and Public Relations of Western Equatoria state; Timothy Nyewe Mori, the former Commissioner of Maban county; William Endley, a South African national and chief Wilson Peni.
James Gatdet, the spokesperson for the SPLM-IO, was also arrested by Kenyan authorities at his residence in Nairobi on 2 November and forcibly deported to Juba the following day. As James Gatdet was a refugee, his deportation from Kenya violated the international law principle of non-refoulement. He has been held at the NSS headquarters prison since his arrival in Juba, in solitary confinement in a room approximately 3 meters by 1.5 meters large. He is not taken outside and is only provided access to sanitary facilities twice a day. He has not been charged with any offences.
Chief Wilson Peni, the Zande community paramount chief, was released without charge on 17 December through the intervention of President Salva Kiir. He had been arrested in Yambio, Western Equatoria state on 20 November and transported to Juba on 23 November where he was placed in detention at the NSS prison.
Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:
  • Insisting that the South Sudanese authorities immediately release NSS detainees or, if credible evidence of a recognised offence exists, charge them promptly and present them in court;
  • Urging them to ensure that detainees are not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in detention; 
  • Urging them to grant the detainees access to adequate medical care, access to lawyers of their own choosing, and also allow visits from their families; 
  • Urging them to end arbitrary detentions by the NSS, particularly in the prison at the Jebel headquarters; 
  • Calling on them to initiate prompt, effective and impartial investigations into NSS detention practices, including enforced disappearances, deaths in custody, torture and other ill-treatment, to publicly disclose the findings, and to hold perpetrators accountable in fair trials without recourse to the death penalty.
Contact these two officials by 31 January, 2017: 
President of the Republic of South Sudan
Salva Kiir Mayardit 
Salutation: Your Excellency 
Ambassador Garang Diing Akuong
Embassy of the Republic of South Sudan
1015 31st Street NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20007
Phone: 202 293 7940  I  Fax: 1 202 293 7941 I Email: [email protected]
Contact form: 
Salutation: Dear Ambassador 
Here’s why it is so important to report your actions: we record the number of actions taken on each case and use that information in our advocacy. Either email [email protected] with “UA 87/16” in the subject line or click this link.
DOWNLOAD the full Urgent Action in PDF or Word format below
GET INSPIRED: Read about the people you have helped
READ TIPS for writing effective letters and emails