Tag Archives: South Sudan

Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2017 – Lawyer Edmund Yakani

April 4, 2017

Civil Rights Defenders is pleased to announce human rights defender Edmund Yakani from South Sudan as recipient of the Civil Rights Defender of the Year Award 2017. Despite the many risks to his own security, he continues to strive to ensure accountability, justice and respect for human rights in a context of conflict, violence and severe human rights violations.

Edmund Yakani is the Executive Director of human rights organisation Community Empowerment for Progress Organisation (CEPO), based in South Sudan’s capital city Juba. He is among the most tenacious and vocal voices in the country when it comes to defending and promoting human rights, democratic transition and justice. He particularly stands out in his effort to ensure respect for rule of law and justice, and the inclusion of civil society in the ongoing peace talks.

EdmundY“For me, this award symbolises motivation and recognition of the efforts and hard work to protect human rights defenders in South Sudan. This is a call for more efforts to engage in further protection for human rights defenders and their families”, said Edmund Yakani to Civil Rights Defenders.

South Sudan, the youngest country in the world, gained its independence as recent as in July 2011. By many social, economic and political standards, the country is among the poorest in the world. Respect for civil and political rights has never been established to the level its citizens wished for at independence.

Also read Civil Rights Defenders country report on South Sudan: New Country, Old Beginnings

The situation for human rights worsened following the outbreak of inter-ethnic and armed conflicts in 2013. Since then, human rights defenders and outspoken critics have been increasingly targeted by the government, security forces and other armed actors, and Edmund Yakani has himself been threatened on several occasions due to his work.

“State authorities see human rights work as part of a politically motivated agenda against them, and hence human rights defenders are seen as enemies of the state. In addition, the rule of law is compromised to the level that impunity has become a norm in the South Sudanese society”, said Edmund Yakani.

Despite facing enormous challenges and risk, Edmund Yakani stands his ground and continues to promote and ensure respect for human rights.

https://www.civilrightsdefenders.org/news/civil-rights-defender-of-the-year-award-2017-edmund-yakani/

South Sudan/Kenya: South Sudanese human rights advocate ‘at risk of torture and persecution’

January 25, 2017

Dong Samuel Luak

A prominent South Sudanese activist currently held in Kenya faces torture and persecution if he is illegally deported back to South Sudan, a human rights group warned on 25 January.

Lawyer and human rights advocate Dong Samuel Luak was in charge of the South Sudan Law Society, an NGO focused on promoting justice and the rule of law, between 2002 to 2013.

Luak fled to neighbouring Kenya in August 2013, after receiving death threats following his defence of Pagan Amum, the former secretary general of South Sudan’s ruling party accused of an alleged coup plot.

Since South Sudan’s conflict began in December 2013, Luak, who is the opposition forces SPLM-IO‘s deputy chairman for justice and human rights, has publicly condemned human rights abuses by South Sudanese government officials.

Luak was detained by Kenyan authorities on 23 January, prompting social media users to use the hashtag #WhereIsDong? in support of the activist.

According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the refugee is being held at the Nairobi Area Police Headquarters. Subject to a deportation order, Luak is is at risk of a forced return to South Sudan, where he could face persecution, HRW said.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/south-sudanese-human-rights-advocate-risk-torture-persecution-1602970

http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/01/25/hrw-raises-red-flag-over-arrest-of-south-sudanese-rights-advocate-in_c1494154

http://allafrica.com/stories/201701260061.html

http://sudantribune.com/spip.php?article61501

http://www.idhae.org/observatoire-fr-page4.1.ken.170123.htm (FRANCAIS)