Bushmen tortured for hunting

 

Updates

22.06.2005

27.06.2005

01.07.2005

 

01.07.2005

Bushmen tortured for hunting to feed their families

Bushman torture victims speak out 

1 Jul 2005

Seven Bushmen have been tortured by wildlife officials after being evicted from their land to a relocation camp. Some were tortured several times over three days; two were tied to the front of the officials' jeep which was then driven at high speed. Two of the Bushmen have now been charged by police with hunting without a licence, and are due to appear in court this month.

The Bushmen have been tortured last month by wildlife officials in Kaudwane, an eviction site close to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

The victims, aged 26-57, are Tsuo Tshiamo, Meno Tshiamo, Helelo Tshiamo, Kganne Kgadikgadi, Sabokana Morwalela, Letshwao Nagayame and Moarama Nagayame.

Letshwao Nagayame, 57, was handcuffed and tied upside down to a post. Officials stepped on his fingers, kicked him, repeatedly punched him in the groin and violently pulled his genitals. He was unable to urinate for some days and can only walk with difficulty.

He said: 'They beat us up badly. I think they wanted to kill us. I am an old man but they didn't consider this when they handcuffed me, suspended me on a rope tied to some poles with my head dangling, my legs hanging in the air and my knuckles on the cement floor.

'The officials pulled my testicles and penis, beat me up, and kicked me, while one man smashed my knuckles on the hard floor.'

Kganne Kgadikgadi said: 'We were made to run in front of a vehicle, and when the beating and kicking got unbearable, I took our assailants to a spot where I had hidden some dried biltong [meat] in a small plastic bag.

'I was forced to say I had hunted with the others, and now we have to appear in court on July 27 to answer poaching charges.'

Source: SI press release

 

27.06.2005

BOTSWANA: TORTURE VICTIMS NOW TOTAL SEVEN

27 June 2005

Seven Bushmen have been tortured this month by wildlife officials in Kaudwane, a relocation camp close to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Some report that they were tortured a number of times over three days in early June.

The victims, aged 26-57, are Tsuo Tshiamo, Meno Tshiamo, Helelo Tshiamo, Kganne Kgadikgadi,
Sabokana Morwalela, Letshwao Nagayame and Moarama Nagayame.

The eldest, Letshwao Nagayame, 57, was handcuffed and tied upside down to a post. As he tried to support himself on his hands, officials stepped on his fingers, kicked him, and repeatedly punched him in the groin. They also violently pulled his genitals. He was unable to urinate for some days and now walks with some difficulty.

Sabokana Morwelela was laid face down on a table and hit repeatedly. He says that seven wildlife officials were involved. He now has severe back pain.

Kganne Kgadikgadi and Meno Tshiamo were handcuffed by hand and foot to the bullbar of a vehicle and dragged for about a kilometre. They have now been charged with hunting without a licence and are due to go to court in July.

On 24 June, Nagayame said, 'We want justice to be done. Please take our story to the world.'

In a separate incident last week, a young Bushman stabbed himself to death in the same relocation camp.


SURVIVAL INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or
mr@survival-international.org
 

 

22.06.2005

BOTSWANA: Bushmen tortured for hunting

Jun 22 2005

Three Bushmen have been severely tortured by wildlife officials on suspicion of hunting to feed their families.

The three were arrested by game scouts in the relocation camp of Kaudwane (where they have been living since they were forcibly evicted from their land in 2002) and were taken to the Wildlife Department base at the entrance to Khutse Game Reserve.

The Bushmen were all beaten severely in the groin, and one was tied upside down and had petrol poured into his anus. One Bushman was unable to urinate for three days, and then urinated blood. After being released the Bushmen went to the police station in the relocation camp, but were turned away and told to report the assault to Molepolole police station - an impossibly long way for the Bushmen to travel.

The Bushmen in the relocation camps have few ways to feed their families except by hunting, even though there is little game left near the camps. Since 2002, however, the majority have been denied hunting licences by the government. Apart from hunting, the Bushmen in the camps are almost entirely dependent on government handouts.

The director of Survival International, Stephen Corry, said today, 'Botswana's government pretends it's 'civilising' the Bushmen - in fact it's obvious it intends to destroy them. Torturing men for supposedly hunting must rank amongst the world's worst violations of tribal peoples' rights. To allow this to happen during a court case is truly shameful. Botswana's pretence at 'democracy' is once again proven a hollow sham.'


For further information,

please contact Miriam Ross on (0)20 7687 8734/ mr@survival-international.org