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Statement by the spokesperson of the High Representative on Human Rights incidents in South Sudan

By European Council
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BRUSSELS, Kingdom of Belgium, December 17, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The spokesperson of Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, issued the following statement today:

"The High Representative is concerned about recent human rights-related incidents and continuing reports of harassment and intimidation of civilians by the security forces in South Sudan.

She is deeply disturbed about the killing of a political commentator and human rights activist, Ding Chan Awuol, better known under his pen-name as Isaiah Abraham, outside his house in Juba on 5 December. She welcomes President Salva Kiir's decision to order a full and thorough investigation but is concerned about reports of serious threats to other journalists and civil society activists who took a critical public stance after Isaiah Abraham's death.

The High Representative equally condemns the killing of unarmed protestors by security forces on 8 and 9 December in Wau, Western Bahr el-Ghazal state. She welcomes the resolution passed by the National Legislative Assembly calling for an immediate investigation.

It is important that, in both these cases, the perpetrators are brought to justice and that measures are taken to ensure freedom of speech and the protection of human rights defenders, as well as to refrain from the disproportionate use of force. Respect for human rights is fundamental to South Sudan's emergence as a peaceful, prosperous and democratic state."