June 1, 2017
Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers, students and academics who campaign internationally for advocacy rights, advocates in danger, and on rule of law issues. We also engage in legal research and education about international human rights law. I am a lawyer and a partner of a law firm in Canada, Cohen Highley LLP, and I am writing to you to ask that you intervene with respect to proceedings involving the above named individuals.
Dong Samuel Luak, a prominent South Sudanese lawyer and human rights activist went missing the night of January 23, 2017. Aggrey Idri, a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Operation (SPLM-IO) went missing on January 24, 2017. The two men were taken to a prison facility at the NSS headquarters in Juba, South Sudan and were removed from this facility on January 27th. Their current whereabouts and fate are unknown.
Sources have advised that both men were detained by the Kenyan authorities and were at risk for deportation. When a habeas corpus application was filed on January 27th on their behalves, the Kenyan High Court ordered an investigation into their whereabouts. The confirmation that both men were in Juba and the custody of South Sudanese authorities indicates that they were illegally removed from Kenya.
Dong Samuel Luak was a registered refugee with the office of the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Convention Against Torture prohibits the return of people to places where they risk being subjected to torture or other ill-treatment. If he was deported by Kenyan authorities, this action would be a violation by Kenya of the non-refoulement principle under the 1951 Refugee Convention.
DongSamuelLuakAI5.6.17 (AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL URGENT APPEAL)