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Amnesty accuses South Sudan gov’t of torturing political prisoners

Human rights group, Amnesty International has accused the South Sudan government of torturing hundreds of detainees during the civil war which began in 2013.

The rights group says many of them are political detainees accused of being linked to the opposition and there have been cases of detainees being sexually assaulted.

“People in South Sudan have been arrested for their political and ethnic affiliations and are then subjected to unimaginable suffering, sometimes leading to death,’‘ said Seif Magango, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.

People in South Sudan have been arrested for their political and ethnic affiliations and are then subjected to unimaginable suffering, sometimes leading to death.

Amnesty says the South Sudanese government has become increasingly intolerant of any form of criticism.

In its report, titled ‘Broken Promises’, Amnesty tells stories of former detainees who say they were made to drink water from the toilet and defecate and urinate in front of each other.

‘‘They also said they were rarely allowed out of their cells for sunlight or exercise…some detainees were fed only once a day and, in more extreme cases, just a few times a week,’‘ reads part of the report.

Government responds

A spokesman for President Salva Kiir, Ateny Wek Ateny, denied the allegations of torture and said more than 20 political detainees were recently released and no more than three were still being held.

On 10 March 2017, President Salva Kiir pledged to release political detainees, before subsequently releasing about 30 of them in August the same year.

The president has reiterated the commitment to release political prisoners on several occasions including in June this year as he signed the Khartoum Declaration of Agreement between Parties of the Conflict of South Sudan.

Africanews

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