NSS: We are a professional service.

National Security Service Building Courtesy PhotoNational Security Service Building Courtesy Photo

The NSS Spokesperson assured the citizens that the service was reformed and is entitled to uphold the rule of law and accountability for its actions as stipulated in the NSS Act 2014.

He noted that NSS has respected the rights and freedoms of citizens since the initiation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

“Equally, any individual based on the National Constitution is entitled to freedom of speech and fundamental freedoms as enshrined under Part Two (02) of the Bill of Rights which states that the “Rights and Freedoms of individuals and groups shall be respected, upheld and promoted by ​​all the organs and agencies of the government and by all persons.”

Early this week, human rights watch accused the service of arresting protesters who were demonstrating against the high cost of living.

“On August 7, the police and National Security Service agents arrested and detained seven people in Konyo Konyo market in Juba who were protesting the rising cost of living,” Human Right Watch wrote.
The NSS Spokesperson assured the citizens that the service was reformed and is entitled to uphold the rule of law and accountability for its actions as stipulated in the NSS Act 2014.

He noted that NSS has respected the rights and freedoms of citizens since the initiation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

“Equally, any individual based on the National Constitution is entitled to freedom of speech and fundamental freedoms as enshrined under Part Two (02) of the Bill of Rights which states that the “Rights and Freedoms of individuals and groups shall be respected, upheld and promoted by all the organs and agencies of the government and by all persons.”

Early this week, human rights watch accused the service of arresting protesters who were demonstrating against the high cost of living.

“On August 7, the police and National Security Service agents arrested and detained seven people in Konyo Konyo market in Juba who were protesting the rising cost of living,” Human Right Watch wrote.

The National Security spokesperson instead accused the watchdog group of using their voice to solicit funds from donors to enrich themselves.

“The accusations negatively depicted upon the National Security Service by the Human Rights Watch are unsubstantiated and lack credibility at all viewpoints and thus, are believed to serve as avenues of generating funds from international donors to further aid their individual and personal goals…,” Kumuri said.

They cited the handling of the most recent protest in Konyo Konyo, Juba, as an instance in which the security officers overstepped their mandate. The protesters were rounded up and arrested as they protested over inflation.

​​One of them was shot in the leg, and other protesters were arrested, including a journalist who was covering the protests. She spent eight days in prison without immediate investigations.

“The security agents shot at protesters, injuring one person on the leg, and beat others. The police arrested Diing Magot, a freelance journalist with Voice of America, who was interviewing the protesters. Lawyers who spoke to Human Rights Watch said she was unlawfully detained for eight days in the Malakia police station but not charged.”

They attributed such practices to powers vested upon NSS to arrest and detain people that they said were overused to the level of impunity.

“The National Security Service has broad powers of arrest, detention, and surveillance. Human Rights Watch has documented how the agency operates with near-total impunity without meaningful judicial or legislative oversight,” the statement continued.

According to the statement, NSS had been practising human rights violations since 2013, as an instrument of shielding the government and restricting the media from publishing stories critical of the government.

Last week, President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the First Vice President Dr Riek Machar Teny, held a meeting and discussed whether NSS must be allowed to arrest people.

However, the two principles did not agree on the matter and forwarded it to the Ministry of Justice to pursue it and make necessary recommendations.

Edmund Yakani, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), said the power of arrest should be vested upon the police alone and not NSS.

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