Bushman hunters arrested

May 18, 2004

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Renewed persecution of hunters is leading to dependency on handouts

Three Bushmen from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana have been arrested and charged with 'unlawful hunting'. The three were hunting near the resettlement centre of New Xade, where they have been forced to live since the government evicted them from their reserve in 2002.

The arrests are the latest in a rising tide of persecution of Gana and Gwi Bushman hunters. The Bushmen were banned from hunting and gathering in the reserve after the evictions, and since then those hunting around the resettlement centres have faced harassment, arrest and heavy fines or imprisonment.

'I feel angry because I am a hunter and I'm not allowed to hunt. I have children but I don't know how to feed them,' says one man. In the resettlement centres, the Bushmen are dependent on government rations for the destitute.

Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, 'Before their land was stolen from them, the Bushmen were a self-sufficient, independent people, living mainly from hunting and gathering. The right to hunt is fundamental to their future survival. They must be allowed to return to their land and hunt freely once more without fear of arrest.'

For further information, please contact Miriam Ross at Survival International on (020) 7687 8734 or email [email protected]

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