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NAMIBIAN POLICE SUPPRESSES CAPRIVIAN FREEDOMS DE NOVO
|April 13, 2012
| Phil ya Nangoloh
8:18 AM (2 hours ago)
April 13 2012
NAMIBIAN POLICE SUPPRESSES CAPRIVIAN FREEDOMS DE NOVO
Namibian Police (NamPol) Inspector General, Lt-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, has yesterday declined to “approve” a peaceful demonstration by a group of concerned Caprivians at Katima Mulilo. In a letter dated April 5 2012 addressed to NamPol’s Regional Commander for the Caprivi Region, members of the organizing committee, representing more than 100 concerned residents of the volatile Caprivi Region, notified NamPol (see attached or visit www.namrights.org.na) of their intention to “hold a peaceful demonstration” and to “assemble and march to peacefully […] and formally hand over our petition to you”.
In their Petition (see attached or visit www.namrights.org.na), the censored demonstrators expressed their dissatisfaction with the marathon Caprivi High Treason Trial (CHTT) as well as the current political status of Namibia’s Eastern Caprivi Zipfel, which after Namibian Independence is officially known as the Caprivi Region. They inter alia demanded that Namibia’s President Lucas Hifikepunye Pohamba “unconditionally release all Caprivi political prisoners and seek a peaceful political resolution” through dialogue with Caprivi secessionist leader Mishake Muyongo. Referring to Article 63(2) (g) of the Namibian Constitution, the suppressed demonstrators also urged Namibia’s Parliament to “initiate, approve or decide to hold a referendum on the political status of the Caprivi Zipfel.
In his letter declining (see attached or visit www.namrights.org.na) to “approve” the planned demonstration Lt-General Ndeitunga inter alia said:
“Secessionist as per the Constitution of Republic of Namibia is classified as High Treason, any pro-secessionist demonstration whether peaceful or in any whatever form will be construed as supporting the secessionist ideology or the separation of Caprivi from the rest of the Republic of Namibia”.
In a similar move on August 12 2010, NamPol imposed a draconian order banning all and any demonstrations and or gatherings countrywide between August 12 2010 and August 20 2010. However, in its August 17 2010 ruling in which Lt-General Ndeitunga was respondent, the High Court declared banning order unconstitutional and as invalid. The Court ruled that Proclamation AG 23 of 1989, upon which Ndeitunga rested the banning order, does not give the Police the power to ban any planned peaceful gathering or demonstration. On the same occasion, Ndeitunga conceded that the Proclamation AG 23 0f 1989 does not give the Police the power to ban a gathering demonstration that is planned.
Therefore, NamRights rejects the latest Police banning order on the peaceful demonstration by concerned Caprivi residents as unfair and unreasonable. In terms of the permanently entrenched Namibian Bill of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (i.e. Chapter 3 of the Namibian Constitution) all persons have the right to freedom of opinion and expression (Article 21(1) (a)) and all Namibians have the right to participate in peaceful political activity intended to influence the policies of Government and to join or form political parties or associations to participate in the conduct of public affairs (Article 17). According to Articles 21(1) (a), 21(1) (b), 21(1) (c) and 21(1) (d) of the said Constitution, everyone has the right, individually or in association with others, to exercise and enjoy the right to freedom of association, assembly and movement.
“We strongly disagree with the latest Police ban on the planned peaceful Caprivi demonstration and reject the reasons given for the ban. As far as we are concerned, to secede any part of Namibia by peaceful means is one of the democratic rights protected by the Namibian Constitution. Only secessionism through violent means is totally excluded and, as such, could be construed as high treason. Therefore, the Police ban on a peaceful pro-secessionism demonstration constitutes a flagrant violation of basic human rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the Constitution. NamRights is hereby reminding the Police that the Constitution is the Supreme Law of Namibia and as such its provisions must be respected, protected and fulfilled in respect of all persons in the country”, said NamRights executive director Phil ya Nangoloh.
Meanwhile, a group of Namibian refugees in neighboring Botswana is accusing the Namibian Government of attempting to refouler them to Caprivi. In the Open Letter (see attached or visit www.namrights.org.na) severely criticizing Namibia’s Commissioner for Refugees, Nkrumah Mushelenga, they also rejected such attempts, which they view as a harassment on the part of the Tripartite Commission (consisting of the Governments of Namibia and Botswana and the UN refugee agency, UNHCR).
In case of additional information, please call, e-mail or text: Steven Mvula or Phil ya Nangoloh at Tel: +264 61 253 447, +264 61 236 183 or +264 811 406 888 (office hours) or Mobiles: +264 811 299 886 (Phil) and or +264 812 912 948 (Steven) or E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us at: Liberty Center, 116 John Meinert Street, Windhoek-West, Windhoek or visit our website at: www. namrights.org.na
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Source: www.nshr.org.na- via Press Release email . . .
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