Upper Nile prison officers trained in human rights

11 Nov 2011

Upper Nile prison officers trained in human rights

10 November 2011 - Aiming to improve the lives of prisoners in Upper Nile State, UNMISS Human Rights unit completed a two-day workshop today in the capital Malakal.

The training session, which focused on human rights and prisons, drew 40 officers working in such institutions in four counties. Carried out at Malakal main prison, it responded to a lack of knowledge about human rights UNMISS had observed among prison officers.

"What we found is that there are certain things missing, especially knowledge on how prisoners should be treated by prison officers," said UNMISS Human Rights Office Sonny Onyegbul. "To fill the gap we felt the need to conduct the training, so that prison officers also know that prisoners are human beings and deserve to be respected."

The training could only accommodate about forty officers, but his office would conduct similar sessions in Renk for those who were unable to take part in the current session, Mr. Onyegbul said.

Expressing satisfaction with the workshop, Malakal Prison Director Brig. Reth Malual said, "I want all of you to concentrate on the issues being discussed for the benefit of our job. I also commend Human Rights for intervening at this important moment in our nation's history."

Upper Nile State's 13 counties all have prisons, of which five have already participated in the human rights training. UNMISS Human Rights plans to cover the remaining eight in the near future.

Prison officers for the current session were invited from Malakal Central, Panyikang, Baliet, Akoka and Fashoda prisons.