There are three principal reasons which account for the prevalence of torture against Caprivian poli
| First, failings in the legal system, including within the legal provision relating to torture. The major contributing factors in this area are a conception of torture more limited than in the Convention, the lack of an independent judicial system., the denial of the right of the accused to early access to legal counsel and the acceptance by trial judges of evidence obtained through torture.
Second, aspects of judicial practice. Under the influence of both central- and local-level of the ruling SWAPO Party political-legal committees, many cases of torture have been handled in an overly tolerant manner. This is expressed in the generally light punishments courts have imposed on perpetrators and in the fact that procuracies have often exempted accused torturers from prosecution.
Third, the ruling SWAPO Party policies on law enforcement. The Namibian Ministry of Justice and the Namibian Central Intelligence Service (NCIS) organs are given vast powers to maintain social order and to investigate crimes without adequate monitoring. Throughout the process of investigating a crime, Namibian law enforcement officials are not subject to supervision by any outside agency. Under such circumstances, the tracking of complaints by Caprivian political detainees is not really feasible, since lodging a complaint may only bring farther abuse.
In 1999 at least 31 political prisoners were killed in Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi Strip during or shortly after the August 1999 popular uprisings there.
Due to the grave situation in the Caprivi Strip, we call upon the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to recognize the persistent pattern of human rights abuses against the Caprivian people. The pattern points to a threat of destruction of the Caprivians as a people unless they are allowed to exercise their right to self-determination. We therefore call upon the UN Commission on Human Rights to support the appointment of a Special Rapporteur to investigate the human rights situation in the Caprivi Strip.
We encourage world civil society and individuals to support the "CAMPAIGN TO FREE CAPRIVIAN POLITICAL DETAINEES AND PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE", and to participate in campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of the issues and to build support for various solutions. We want you to sign our petition, and we also strongly encourage you to take the time to send e-mail letters or regular letters to the president of your country as well as to whatever decision makers you think might help the most - including the leaders of the world's major religious and human rights organizations. We want to ask them to intercede with the Namibian colonial regime, calling for the full restoration of basic human rights and of cultural and political freedoms to the Caprivian people.
And furthermore we want these decision makers to tell the Namibian colonial regime why it would greatly enhance Namibia's image in the world as well as why it is absolutely in Namibia's long-term interests to enter into negotiations without preconditions with the Caprivian Government in Exile - negotiations to find solutions to the problems created by Namibia's illegal occupation of the Caprivi Strip and to set the time table for the independence of the occupied territory.
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