South Sudan

South Sudan government denies holding political prisoners

South Sudan government denied that it held political prisoners in Juba’s National Security headquarters, a notorious complex known as Blue House.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Sunday, Ateny Wek Ateny, South Sudan’s presidential spokesman, said no one has been detained for political reasons despite many claims by some families that their sons have been detained for the same reasons.

Ateny further said President Kiir had instructed the Ministry of Justice to review all files of detainees and establish why they are in detention.

On Friday, the South Sudanese security authorities released UN radio journalist George Livio Bahara after being held for two and a half years without trial.

The UN said two other staff members have been held without trial since 2014, but it did not give their names.

Last year, Amnesty International said 35 men were being held illegally and without charge, with no access to a lawyer.

The rights group said there has been an increase in arbitrary detentions since the country’s civil war broke out in 2013, with most prisoners suspected to have links with rebels.


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