South Sudan: Immediately Reveal Whereabouts and Guarantee Safety of Lawyer Dong Samuel Luak | Letter

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Dong Samuel Luak, a prominent South Sudanese lawyer and human rights activist was arrested by Kenya authorities on January 23, 2017. He has fled from South Sudan to Kenya in August 2013 after receiving death threats for his work as a lawyer and was a registered refugee with the UN Human Rights Commission for Refugees. An investigation into his whereabouts ordered by the Kenyan High Court on 27 January 2017 confirmed that Dong Samuel Luak and Aggrey Idri, a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Operation were in prison in Juba South Sudan had been forcibly returned to South Sudan in violation of the Convention against Torture and non-refoulement principles.

December 11, 2017

President of the Republic of South Sudan Silva Kiir Mayardit
c/o Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations
336 East 45th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10017, USA

Minister for National Security in the Office of the President Obuto Mamur Mete
c/o Permanent Mission of the Republic of South Sudan to the United Nations
336 East 45th Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10017, USA

Your Excellency:

Re: Detention of Dong Samuel Luak

 Lawyers Rights Watch Canada (LRWC) is a committee of lawyers, students and academics who campaign internationally for advocacy rights, advocates in danger, and on rule of law issues. We also engage in legal research and education about international human rights law.  I am a lawyer and a partner of a law firm in Canada, Cohen Highley LLP, and I am writing to you to ask that you intervene with respect to proceedings involving the above named individual.

On June 1, 2017 we wrote to you about Dong Samuel Luak who went missing in January of 2017.  After being forcibly removed from Nairobi and detained at the NSS headquarters prison facility in Juba, South Sudan, he was transferred and his whereabouts and fate are still unknown.

In our previous correspondence, we urged the authorities of South Sudan and Kenya to do the following:

  1. Immediately disclose the fate and whereabouts of Dong Samuel Luak;
  2. Make public the reasons for his continued detention if he is in custody and, unless a legal basis for continued detention can be demonstrated, release him without delay;
  3. Ensure that Dong Samuel Luak is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment while in detention;
  4. Grant Dong Samuel Luak access to adequate medical care, access to lawyers of his own choosing, and allow visits from his family; and,
  5. Carry out a thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the enforced disappearance of Dong Samuel Luak and ensure those responsible are held to account.

We are advised that the location of Dong Samuel Luak is still unknown.

We demand that the whereabouts of Dong Samuel Luak be revealed and that he be released immediately.

Yours Very Truly,

Joe Hoffer
Sudan Monitor, Lawyers Rights Watch Canada


Copied to:

His Excellency Garang Diing Akuong
Ambassador for the Republic of South Sudan
1015 31st Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20007, USA
Fax: 1 202 293 7941

Inspector General of Kenyan Police
Joseph Boinnet
Office of the Inspector General
Kenya National Police service
4th Floor, Jogoo House ‘A’, Taifa Road
P O Box 44249-00100
Nairobi, Kenya

Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances
Mr. Bernard Duhaime
Mr. Tae-Ung Baik
Ms. Houria Es-Slami
Mr. Henrikas Mickevicius
Mr. Luciano A. Hazan

Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders
Mr. Michel Forst

Special Rapporteur on the independence of the judges and lawyers
Mr. Diego Garcia-Sayan