HWR calls on South Sudan to release detained airport officials
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called upon authorities in South Sudan to release six airport officials who have been detained without trial since November 2018.
The rights group insists the officials should be released immediately or promptly charged and released on bail ahead of a legitimate trial. The group of officials were arrested at different times in November 2018 upon fraud allegations and they been detained since, despite no charges being brought against them.
HRW calls for airport officials’ release
In a statement released on Tuesday, Human Rights Watch described the detention of the six airport officials as “unlawful” and urged authorities in South Sudan to release the group or proceed with the legitimate legal process.
“South Sudanese authorities should unconditionally release six airport officials unlawfully detained without trial since November 2018,” HRW said on its website.
The statement quotes associate Africa director at Human Rights Watch, Jehanne Henry, criticising the government of South Sudan’s respect for basic legal rights.
“These cases exemplify how South Sudan’s government fails to respect the basic rights of accused people,” she said.
“South Sudan’s authorities need to respect due process protections in national and international law and should immediately release these six airport officials and if they intend to charge them, do so promptly.”
Henry called upon the government to revise powers allowing authorities in the country to arbitrarily arrest individuals, as well as the impunity to act outside of the law themselves.
“South Sudan’s authorities should make the necessary reforms to curb the security agency’s broad powers of arrest, detention, and surveillance and ensure that detainees’ rights are respected,” she said.
“They should also lift security officers’ immunity from prosecution so that victims of rights abuses will have access to an effective remedy.”
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