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Human rights bill passes in South Sudan legislature

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By Isaac Vuni

January 13, 2009 (JUBA) – The South Sudan Legislative Assembly today passed the Human Rights Bill following yesterday’s unexpected adjournment.

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Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (Photoc SSLA)

Hon. Caesar Bayeh Loyalala attempted to revise the original text, which he considered in favour of government, arguing that the Human Rights and Anticorruption Commissions including auditor general chamber have extra judiciary power.

Contributing to a heated debate on the bill, Hon. Mohamed El Hag said it was overdue as daily rampant killings, particularly in Juba city, amount to violations of human rights.

Hon. Peter Bashir observed that the human rights record in Sudan had been and is still very poor even though SPLM appointed an independent commission in June 2007.

Another legislator, Hon. Jimmy Wongo, suggested consolidating 19 commissions that are duplicating duties in southern Sudan. He urges southerners to be proud because human rights and anti-corruption commissions do not exist in the Islamic-led Khartoum government.

Hon. David William Tut suggested that those nominated as commissioners should be properly scrutinized and be non-partisan people.

Hon. Wall Deng Ajak observed that men and women were slaughtered in southern Sudan’s hospitals and opposed reducing the status of the commission to state minister.

Then Hon. Deng Kual said the worst violators of human rights in Southern Sudan are top political leaders in any given location.

The Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Dr. Martin Lomuro emphasized that some states like Central and Eastern Equatoria have acted in disrespect to laws passed by the august house.

Meanwhile Hon. Loluke explained that Human Rights and Anticorruption commissions have not been working properly for the last two years in Eastern Equatoria as Governor Ojetuk manipulate and denied medical treatment to people deliberately being detained by his authority.

Loluke added that effective operational commissions in south Sudan are led by women, and wondered at the 17 men leading the commission.

There were 83 MPs present plus five absent with permission totaling 88 legislators for quorum, and the bill was passed for the third and final reading at 1:15 p.m.



Written by torit1955

January 14, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Posted in Human Rights Issues

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Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission Seeking to Proect Citizens

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Thursday 17, 2007

By Isaac Vuni

December 10, 2008 (JUBA) — The acting Chairperson of Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) Thomas Dut said that no one should be deprived of one’s life because the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) has the obligation to protect its people as stipulated in its interim constitution.

Addressing journalists on the global sixtieth anniversary of Human Rights Day at the Southern Sudan Assembly building Wednesday, he called on all Sudanese to seriously observe and disseminate human rights practices that should start from their family then to others.

When asked how many cases are addressed by SSHRC, Dut pointed to abduction, rape and murder cases in Warrap state and Eastern Equatoria state where civilians were arrested by military, and Central Equatoria state where fighting against foreigners has been addressed.

He also reiterated President Salva Kiir’s appeal not to harass foreigners, especially neighbours who have come to help in reconstruction and development of Southern Sudan.

So far, he said, SSHRC has trained executive secretaries, legal officers, victim protection officers, internal auditors and clerks for three weeks after 6th November, who are now ready to be dispatched to various states of Southern Sudan.

Meanwhile the representative of a civil society organisation called Southern Sudan Law Society, Justice Dong Samuel, said prisoners in Juba are kept in inhuman and degrading conditions with 800 deliberately crowded in cells meant for only 300 prisoners.

Justice Dong accused some government officials, without mentioning their names, of deliberately inflicting torture on prisoners, creating alarming concerns that their liberty had been deprived either by police or the attorney general who might have wrongly sentenced them simply to appease the ruling government.

He added that the military rule and laws imposed on Sudanese is demonizing, especially in Darfur, and must be condemned by all peace-loving Sudanese and friends.

Justice Dong further noted that GOSS is working very hard to absorb civil society but civil society such as teachers would like to continue advocating for rights of marginalized Sudanese.

Similarly the UN Development Programme (UNDP) representative Nelson Umbu said human rights violations are committed by state actors but he was quick to elucidate that UNDP provides support to police and prisons only in order to reduce human rights abuses in southern Sudan. He said that UNDP encourages the government to do their work independently.

Meanwhile the chairperson of specialized committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian affairs of Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) Margaret Abudi Peter assured that they will soon pass the human rights bill to enable Sudanese individuals to take responsibility for human rights violation.

Earlier, Commissioner Anei Adik Arop and Executive Secretary Victor Lado said the official celebration of the SSHC will be celebrated in Jonglei state on 19th December. However commissioner Arop further said the delay in passing the commission bill is causing concern to all.

Written by torit1955

December 11, 2008 at 4:07 pm

Posted in Human Rights Issues

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