Responding to a revolt in the Blue House National Security Service (NSS) detention facility in South Sudan’s capital Juba overnight, Sarah Jackson, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes said:
“South Sudanese authorities should urgently de-escalate the situation at the notorious Blue House detention facility, where prolonged incommunicado detention, torture and deaths in custody are rife.
“Independent observers should be able to monitor any intervention by authorities to help prevent the use of excessive force or other human rights violations. Any use of force must be a last resort and in strict compliance with international law. The right to life and personal security of everyone, including prison guards and bystanders, must be respected.
“The Blue House revolt points to deep problems within South Sudan’s justice system. President Salva Kiir should keep his promise to release detainees unless they are charged with a recognizable criminal offence. Concerted action is needed to improve the dire conditions in detention.”
For more background on incommunicado detention, torture and deaths in custody in detention in South Sudan, please see:
South Sudan: Arbitrary arrests, torture of detainees despite repeated promises
South Sudan: Open Letter from Secretary-General Salil Shetty to President Salva Kiir on prolonged detentions, enforced disappearances, and reported deaths while in government custody
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