National Security using abusive surveillance to terrorize journalists, activists, and critics, Amnesty International

Members of South Sudan military intelligence in a parade somewhere in South Sudan(Photo credit: Unknown/SSNN)Members of South Sudan military intelligence in a parade somewhere in South Sudan(Photo credit: Unknown/SSNN)

The latest report released by the prominent Human Rights organization, Amnesty International suggested that South Sudan National Security Services (NSS) is “using abusive surveillance, terrorize journalists, activists and critics” as a means to silence the population.

The report reveals human rights abuses by the security forces in the country.

The organization also noticed the government through its security forces, carried out massive communications surveillance with equipment bought in Israel, chilling piece of evidences in the recent report documented.

Several telecommunication companies are involved.

According to Amnesty International, NSS conduct a physical surveillance system through “widespread informants” and agents. As one of its most powerful tools, the NSS breach the right to privacy outlined in the constitution.

“The NSS also conducts physical surveillance through a widespread, cross-border network of informants and agents, penetrating all levels of society and daily life, by monitoring media and social media, and requiring event organizers to seek permission before holding any form of gathering.

The NSS has used “these forms of surveillance illegally, in breach of the right to privacy, to arbitrarily arrest and illegally detain individuals and infringe on press freedoms and the freedom of opinion and expression and the freedom of assembly.”

“These walls have ears” the chilling effect of surveillance in South Sudan, discussed how the government agents spend time on the internet, checking Facebook posts, Twitter threads, penetrating WhatsApp to collect, details and framed victims.

As the result, journalists, activists, and government critics are targeted, arrested instilling fear among the civil population.

“Since the start of the conflict in 2013, the Government of South Sudan, mostly through the NSS, has become increasingly authoritarian and has sought to silence critics by harassing, intimidating, threatening, arbitrarily detaining and, in some cases, forcibly disappearing and extra-judicially killing them.

The NSS has arrested and detained people who are alleged to have communicated with, or supported, the opposition, as well as human rights defenders, civil society activists14 and academics15 critical of the government.”

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