Press Release

Gama Thomas, Aide To South Sudan Chief Justice, Abducted

For Immediate Release,

Salva Kiir and Chief justice Chan Reec Madut swear in the newly appointed ten advisors at J1, May 09, 2016(Photo: supplied)
Salva Kiir and Chief justice Chan Reec Madut swear in the newly appointed ten advisors at J1, May 09, 2016(Photo: supplied)

Monday, 16th January 2015(Nyamilepedia) —– Legal Watch Associates South Sudan has learned with shock and dismay the abduction of Mr Gama Thomas, an aide to the Chief Justice, Chan Reech Madut.

Mr Gama Thomas was abducted at a gunpoint this morning at Juba International Airport by rogue elements from the National Security Service’s General Intelligence Bureau Department. The victim met his fate while he was traveling to Kampala, Uganda for the burial and funeral of his late brother who passed away this week after long illness.

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This is the second time he has been kidnapped by National Security Service operatives. The first incident happened after a heavily armed security personnel stormed the Office of the Chief Justice to arrest the accused without due process of the law. The Chief Justice intervened then by calling the Minister of Justice, Minister for National Security Services in the Office of the President, the two Director Generals of the National Security Service. The officers that were searching the office were ordered to leave the office immediately as they were found to have acted without directives from the Director General of the General Intelligence Bureau Gen. Thomas Duoth Guet.

Legal Watch Associates take this opportunity to condemn the incident in the strongest terms possible. The continuous action of the General Intelligence Bureau officers without regards to civil rights and liberties is a violation of the citizens’ constitution rights as enshrined in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011.

These actions further disrespect the sanctity and independence of the Judiciary as an important arm of the Government.

Legal Watch Associates further notes with dismay that Napoleon Adok Gai, who is the Director of Cyber Security Division of the General Intelligence Bureau and the Office of the President and also doubling up as the head of phone National Security Service phone monitoring headquarters (Aquilla Center) together with his staff continue to wiretap and monitor phones conversations of the families of the 16 persons convicted to life imprisonment in June 2016 because of alleged corruption in the Office of the President, their lawyers and the panel of judges of the Appeal Court reviewing the case. Staff of the judiciary with immediate access to the judges and the Chief Justice are also under surveillance in a complete disregard and violation of article 22 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 which protect the right of individual’s to privacy of correspondences.

We are calling on the National Security Service to respect the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South 2011 and conduct it’s activities within the bounds of the Supreme law of the land as the National Security Service Act 2014 does not give explicit powers to NSS to illegally monitor private phones conversations of citizens unless such monitoring is sanctioned by a competent court of law and only in circumstances that can qualify as threats to the National Security of the country.

The mock use of phone communications evidence as seen in the case of one Kur Ayuen Kou, one of the 16 accused who was sentenced to life imprisonment because of talking on the phone with his cousin John Agou while the latter was in detention at the General Intelligence Bureau headquarters is not a license that it is now legal to use this information in court as an evidence. Such evidence are not admissible in court since there is no law authorizing the use of illegally obtained telephone communications.

In the light of the above, we are calling for immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Gama Thomas to his family and to carry on with his normal duties as a citizen of this country with all the rights in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution. We will hold the General Intelligence Bureau and its Director General and in particular Napoleon Adok Gai personally and criminally responsible should anything happens to Mr. Gama Thomas during his illegal detention at the premises of GIB.

We also called on the Chief Justice Chan Reech Madut who is the head of Judiciary to personally intervene and guarantee first and foremost, the safety of Mr. Gama Thomas as an employee working in his office and other junior employees of the Judiciary as well as judges and advocates (lawyers) working very hard to promote the rule of law in South Sudan.

Legal Watch Associates urges the Transitional National Legislative Assembly and in particular the Committee of Information, Communication and Culture to investigate this wanton and flagrant violations of the Constitution by the National Security Service and take immediate action against people abusing the fundamental rights and freedoms that the resilient people of South Sudan struggle to achieve for more than two decades.

Legal Watch Associates South Sudan is a Human Rights Organization that advocates for human rights of people of South Sudan across the globe.

For more information, please contact Legal Watch Associates at: legalwatch2015@gmail.com

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