This submission was prepared for the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of South Sudan taking place in November 2016. It was submitted to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in March 2016. In it, Amnesty International evaluates the current situation of human rights in the country and makes recommendations to the government of South Sudan to strengthen the protection of human rights and address human rights challenges.
Amnesty International draws attention to shortcomings in the human rights framework in South Sudan, including as regards ratification and domestication of international and regional human rights treaties, the expansion of the National Security Service (NSS) powers to arrest people and to seize property without adequate judicial oversight, and the failure to criminalize torture, enforced disappearance, genocide and crimes against humanity in domestic law.
Amnesty International raises concerns about recent executions, harassment and arbitrary detention of journalists and other government critics, poor prison conditions and the incarceration of persons with serious mental health disabilities, as well as widespread impunity for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law in the context of the armed conflict.
FOLLOW-UP TO THE PREVIOUS REVIEW
The first UPR of Sudan was held in May 2011. At the time, the then Southern Sudan had already voted in a referendum on self-determination to secede from Sudan and was on the verge of declaring independence. Although Southern Sudan was represented during the UPR Working Group session, the National Report and the two reports compiled by OHCHR focused on Northern Sudan, and only four recommendations were directed to Southern Sudan. The review of South Sudan during the 26th session of the UPR Working Group should therefore be considered its first review.