Big elephants stepping on human rights reports in Parliament

South Sudan Human Rights Commissioner, Beny Gideon Mabor (photo by William M Garang)

By William Madouk Garang

Political leadership and parliament are faulted for taking long to discuss and approve four situational human rights reports that were submitted by South Sudan Human Rights Commission to parliament.

Human rights commissioner, Beny Gideon Mabor said annual human rights reports compiled by SSHRC for the last two to three years are rotting in parliament without being deliberated on.

“One of the things which I am not happy about with the political leadership is the failure to discuss and approve our last two annual reports,” Mabor revealed during the celebration on International Day for Democracy yesterday.

“The last two reports are sitting before the parliament, I have told you several time it’s also your duty to check on us because we are not like you, we have a mandate or channel of communication,” he cited.

The human rights commission boss, Mabor said at the end of every year an annual report is compiled, and submitted to president and assembly for discussion and approval before its contents are publicized however his efforts has been frustrated for the last two to three years.

According to him, the pending reports have enclosed prosecution recommendations for human rights offenders and also suggested some administrative reforms.

“The rule or procedure, as you may agree or disagree; the report becomes public once it’s satisfying, once it’s discussed and consumed because report contain recommendations.”

“Among them are recommendations for prosecution – you can’t make them public when those decisions are not made,” he noted.

He stressed that follow ups are ongoing, asserting that they are audacious enough to see President, parliament and also to confront any officials or whoever they want to meet.

“It’s not a question of organization but it’s a challenge of big elephants in the room that we are dealing with, so you really need to understand me of the elephant in the room we are dealing with,” Mabor reiterated.

However, the UN Secretary- General, Antonio Guterres in a statement earlier said democracy was backsliding and civic space was shrinking across the world, warning that without a free press, democracy cannot survive.

Amnesty International revealed in its February human rights report that South Sudan’s national Security Services uses rude surveillance to intimidate journalists, activists, and government critics.

The government had refuted the report and insisted that it accords freedom of the press in the Country.

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