Human rights defenders receive digital equipment

By Staff Writer

South Sudan Human Rights Defenders Network (SSHRDN) has donated an assortment of digital equipment aimed at boosting the work of its members across the East African nation.

The donated items included state-of-the-art laptops and mobile phones.

James Bidal, the head of SSHRDN secretariat, said the digital equipment support program would enable human rights defenders across the country exchange emails, share files and hold virtual meetings with each other.

“The   support will involve mentoring the beneficiaries on robust software and technical concepts on information and communication safety, data protection techniques used by rights defenders,” he explained.

According to Bidal, human rights defenders play a central role in monitoring human rights situations and also defend victims of human rights violations.

“The digital support equipment will make it easier to share ideas collaborate. Human rights defenders will be connected through networks that span the country, allowing them to share information, easy scheduling of meetings, sharing files and improving their digital safety,” he stressed.

The head of the SSHRDN secretariat cited violations of human rights, torture, beatings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, absence of human rights defenders’ protection act and lack of funds as bottlenecks to their work.

Sworo Nelson Loboka, a human rights defender, said the digital equipment will fasten his work and enhance sharing of information with his colleagues.

“Over the last two to three years, my work has been difficult due to lack of such equipment. With this laptop, my work will now be easier,” he said.

Sworo lauded SSHRDN for supporting human rights defenders in the country.

A coalition of civil society organizations and individuals working to protect promotion of human rights in South Sudan, SSHRDN was established as an independent entity partnering with both the international and regional human rights power houses, including the Ugandan-based Pan African Human Rights Defenders Network (PAHRDN) and DefendDefenders.

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