Bishop of Oxford questions government on Bushman evictions

January 20, 2006

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The Bishop of Oxford challenged the UK government yesterday over violations of the rights of the Bushmen in Botswana.

The Right Reverend Richard Harries asked in the House of Lords, ‘what representations they are making to the Botswana government to protect the rights of the Bushmen in the Kalahari.'

Harries is one of the most prominent UK Bishops, and a regular commentator in the press on human rights and social issues. As a Bishop, he has automatic membership of the House of Lords.

Harries is the latest of many British parliamentarians, including several peers, to speak out against the Botswana government's repeated eviction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen from their land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve.

Last year saw a rapid escalation in government violence and persecution, with three Bushmen, including one child, being shot and many others beaten up. One woman has already died of starvation due to armed guards preventing the Bushmen from leaving their villages to hunt and gather.

For more information call Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]