Amnesty alert over SA police brutality
14 May 2011 Leave a comment
Amnesty International flags SA police brutality
Amnesty International’s Report 2011 has flagged police torture, deaths in custody, extrajudicial killings and threats to the work of human rights defenders as matters of concern in South Africa. It cited Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) figures for April 2009 to March last year, which recorded five direct complaints against the police of torture and 920 complaints of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm by the police – and only some of which were being investigated for evidence of torture. Seven of 294 deaths in custody were linked to torture and 90 others to “injuries sustained in custody”.
Also of concern to Amnesty were proposed changes to the Criminal Procedures Act that would allow police to use deadly force against a suspect resisting or fleeing arrest, where they believe there is a risk of “future death” if the suspect escapes. This, it noted, allowed for the use of deadly force “in circumstances beyond those allowed by international human rights standards”.
ONS SAL DIT OORLEEF
The report also raised concerns over threats to freedom of expression and the work of human rights defenders.
It cited, among others, the trial of 12 supporters of housing rights movement Abahlali baseMjondolo on charges relating to violence in the Kennedy Road informal settlement in 2009 and the unlawful arrest of Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika after his reports on an alleged hit squad linked to senior Limpopo provincial government members.
Also of concern were ANC proposals for a media appeals tribunal and the tabling of the “draconian” Protection of Information Bill.
Amnesty International did not however condemn the ongoing genocide of the Afrikaners under the ANC regime.