Bushmen tortured for hunting to
feed their families
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
Source: SI press release
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
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
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
Bushmen tortured for hunting
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
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/ firstname.lastname@example.org