Let’s respect the rights of the visually impaired persons

Let’s respect the rights of the visually impaired persons
A visually-impaired trainee practices hands-on skills (photo credit: Keji Janefer)

The reports alleging that some officers of the national security service clobbered some visually-impaired people are saddening, and if authentic, such acts amount to a total violation of human rights. 

According to the Chairperson of the Visually Impaired in Central Equatoria State, Robert Ladu, about 20 visually impaired people were assaulted by national security on Monday as they were conducting mobility training.

Several of them claim that they were beaten using the grips of the guns. The alleged security personnel are said to have been directed by the Director-General at the State Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare to evict them from the Buluk office.

This incident shows that the state authorities should develop a proper way of addressing issues because this is not the first time that such an inhuman act has happened.

Last month, former Central State State Minister of Gender, Child and Social Welfare Rose Paulino Lisok accused a Director-General from one of the state ministries of ordering the police to evict her from the government house.

Ms Paulino was humiliated as all her possessions were thrown outside of the house and told to leave the compound. However, she did not leave. She spent about three days in the cold weather and heavy rain. After she failed to get any response from the state government, Paulino decided to return her property inside the building.

It was shameful for a public figure to be treated in such a manner with no respect, despite having served in the government for long.

Back to the Monday incident: There may have been a standoff between the visually impaired association and the State Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, but the assault of the visually impaired people is completely unacceptable.

No reasonable person would even dare confront a blind person. But this was said to have happened on Monday in Buluk, and as a result, some of the victims are still complaining of body pain.  

The incidents of the beating of the visually impaired people and the eviction of the former minister of gender were allegedly directed by director generals whose orders massively subjugated human rights.

It is known that some junior officials in the government often act contrary to orders issued. And in this case, the authorities that issued the orders may not have instructed any of the officers to do it in such an inhumane manner. Some officers take laws into their hands, which in turn tarnishes the name of the leaders and the county as a whole.

 All the violations being reported in the country are not committed by our leaders but by some individuals who do things contrary to the law.

It is not wrong for law enforcement agencies to do their duty of keeping law and order, but it should be done within the frame of the law. Our law enforcement agencies need to learn conflict mitigation because the way they handle issues sometimes leads to the escalation of conflict.

For instance, if that alleged security personnel was sent to close the office of the visually impaired in Buluk, how did it escalate into that manner?

The state authorities should investigate the act and those behind it should be brought to book. No one should be allowed to misuse the state forces to tarnish the name of the leaders and the country.

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