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Illegally detained Activist Kanybil falls ill in detention

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Thursday, September 10, 2020

Kanybil Noon in a recent photograph | Credit | Facebook

The defense lawyer of a civil society activist who is being illegally held by the National Security Service says Kanybil Noon Deng has developed poor health in detention.

Biel Boutros finally saw him after 104 days in detention on Tuesday.

The lawyer told Eye Radio that he found his client suffering from back pain and a cough, saying it could be as a result of prolonged detention.

“He looked fine, though he has some cough and he is suffering from a back pain,” Biel said.

Also a member of the Strategic Defense and Security Review Board under the Revitalized Peace Agreement, Noon was detained by the national security on May 29, 2020.

His lawyer says since the activist was arrested, the national security has not formally charged him.

Biel, who is a human rights activist, described the arrest as unlawful and a violation of the constitutional rights of the activist.

“We don’t know the charges yet, so we are pushing for a [trial] if they have any charges against,” Biel continued.

But in June, Amnesty International said Noon was charged with defamation, a case initiated by the Director of the Internal Security, Akol Koor in late 2019.

It says he was accused of writing a public letter on his Facebook – addressed to President Salva Kiir – in which he criticized Koor.

Since the start of South Sudan’s internal armed conflict in December 2013, hundreds of people, mostly men, have been reportedly detained under the authority of the NSS and Military Intelligence Directorate in various detention facilities in Juba.

Many of those who have been detained have been held under the category of “political detainees” on allegations that they have communicated with or supported the opposition, writes AI.

Others, for instance Michael Wetnhialic was detained multiple times for criticizing the Director of the NSS on Facebook.

Amnesty International says it has documented numerous arbitrary detentions by the NSS in multiple facilities where detainees are often subjected to torture and other ill-treatment – some held incommunicado without access to a lawyer, or family members.

Others have been forcibly disappeared. Prolonged and arbitrary detention, as well as enforced disappearances and torture and other ill-treatment have all been frequently used by the authorities in South Sudan since the initial outbreak of the conflict in December 2013.

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