Amnesty: South Sudan detainees held in inhumane conditions News
Amnesty: South Sudan detainees held in inhumane conditions

[JURIST] Dozens of detainees in South Sudan are being held in inhumane conditions, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] reported [press release] Friday. According to AI, the citizens are currently being held in “poorly ventilated metal shipping containers, fed only once or twice a week and given insufficient,” and are periodically taken out of the containers and beaten. Muthoni Wanyeki, AI Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and Great Lakes, said the conditions as “nothing short of torture” and stated that “the detention site should be immediately shut down until conditions are brought into compliance with human rights standards.” Most of those detained have reportedly not been charged with an offense, but are only accused of having ties to the former rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) and are being denied access to family members, lawyers and courts. AI has reached out to several high ranking South Sudani officials, including Major-General Marial Nour, Director of Military Intelligence, and President Salva Kiir, informing them of the conditions at the Gorom detention site and asking for an intervention and investigation into the human rights violations. This news comes after AI detailed similar human rights violations [AI briefing] in Leer, Unity State, in October.

Prisoners are an at-risk population throughout the world. Earlier this month, Nils Muiznieks, the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, criticized Belgium [JURIST report] for the deteriorating conditions of its prisons. Last month Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report [JURIST report] that France prisons were neglecting inmates’ mental health. Last month HRW reported [JURIST report] that Louisiana jails are failing to provide basic HIV services to inmates. HRW also found that Baton Rouge and New Orleans—the state’s two largest cities—lead the nation in HIV infections every year and the state also leads the nation in rates of incarceration. The treatment of prisoners and prison reform [JURIST podcast] have been matters of ongoing concern in the US with two groups in Ohio detailing [JURIST report] recommendations for criminal justice reform in that state earlier last month.