Fifty officers serving with the South Sudan National Police Service (SSNPS) in Eastern Equatoria have enjoyed a training session to improve their criminal investigative skills and further their understanding of human rights laws and principles.
“We need such workshops to continue for our forces so that we don’t act aggressively towards the community when we are on duty,” commented Sabina Dominic, a traffic police officer who had her eyes opened at the event.
During the training, provided by human rights officers serving with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, police officers were told that torture and other cruel or inhumane forms of degrading treatment of suspects is not only unacceptable but in fact unlawful.
“We talked about the right of a suspect during arrest and detention,” said Captain Solomon Oliha, Director of the Legal Affairs Police Unit. “As police officers, we can only detain someone for 24 hours and then forward the case to a public prosecutor if suspicions remain.”
Director Oliha also urged citizens to cooperate with police during investigations by providing accurate information so that law enforcement agents can make informed decisions.
“It is our commitment to build the capacity of police officers across the country to ensure that they respect and promote human rights,” said Anthony Nwapa, a human rights officer serving with the peacekeeping mission.
The workshop targeted police personnel directly involved in detentions, arrests and criminal investigations.