HRC34: Oral Intervention on the adoption of South Sudan’s UPR outcome

Human Rights Council: 34th Session
Adoption of South Sudan’s Universal Periodic Review outcome

 Joint Oral Intervention

Thank you Mr. President,

Unfortunately, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project and CIVICUS have very little to welcome in South Sudan’s UPR process. Out of 33 recommendations made to the Government of South Sudan to improve its catastrophic human rights situation, only 4 have been accepted.

Mr. President, we are dismayed that for the first time since the creation of the UPR process, no local civil society organisation could participate in the UPR Pre-Session. South Sudanese human rights defenders have been intimidated in the corridors of the Palais des Nations, prevented from boarding a flight to Geneva at gunpoint, threatened after meeting with the UN Security Council in Juba, and regularly prevented from cooperating with international mechanisms. The pervasive sense of fear that exists among South Sudanese civil society knows no borders, and neither do the often-real threats against them.

Given how the Government and its security apparatus have treated human rights defenders in the past, it comes as no surprise that it has not accepted recommendations made to improve its human rights record. The UPR process is meant to create an opportunity for dialogue and collaboration between civil society and the government, however South Sudan is demonstrating persistent non-cooperation with this important mechanism.

Mr. President, in light of the current resolution on South Sudan being discussed during this session, we reiterate our deepest concern that South Sudanese human rights defenders face intimidation, torture, death, or exile for working on transitional justice and human rights. The support of international mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council has never been more important.



Updates from October 2021

The final quarter of the year is one of the busiest periods at DefendDefenders. This is also heightened by the deteriorating situation in Sudan and Ethiopia that continues to destabilize an already delicate region.

Public statement to the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights on closing civic space

As the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights holds its 69th ordinary session, DefendDefenders and the South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN), call on the government of the Republic of South Sudan to respect the rights of its citizens to peacefully assemble, associate, and express opinions and views, strengthen the legal framework that allows citizens and civil society organizations to form and operate without any hinderances.


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