South Sudan Human Rights Commission (SSHRC) Chairperson Laurence Korbandi. [Gurtong | Waakhe Simon Wudu]
By Waakhe Simon Wudu
JUBA – 10 August 2012 [Gurtong] - Chairperson Laurence Korbandi said that threats on human rights activists are far reaching and create unfavorable environment adding that the judiciary is in place to ensure justice.
“If we have grudges with any body we have the police and courts. Do not panic,” said Korbandi.
Last month a member of a national civil society organization was kidnapped at night in Juba by unknown personnel. He was found days later having undergone torture and beating.
This was not the only experience after the country gained her independence last year. Korbandi and some members in his commission have received several threats during the one year of independence.
However, he said the commission’s role as mandated by the South Sudan Transitional Constitution is to ensure that human rights are observed in the infant nation and can not be succumbed to certain limitations.
“We as Human Rights defenders we can not succumb to these threats,” said Korbandi, adding the Commission is to ensure South Sudan dignity; equality and freedom entrench in the life of the people in the country.
He mentioned that, several of the violations on the human rights in the country is done out of ignorance, a challenge he said can be over come through embarking on education and mass awareness about the value of observing human rights.
He called on more support be put to the commission in areas of capacity building, logistics and human resource, adding only less than 5 percent of the Commissions annual budget supports program activities of the commission.
The commission also called the government to ratify the human rights international treaties which Korbandi said are being given room in the constitution.
He added that the absence of the government recognizing the international treaties have also posed a challenge to the commission’s activities.