More arrests as hounding of Bushmen intensifies

July 28, 2006

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The Botswana government's crackdown on Bushmen found hunting to feed their families has entered a new phase. Survival has received reports that five Bushmen were arrested within the last week in the relocation camp at Kaudwane for hunting duikers (a small antelope) for food.

The men's families have not heard from them since their arrest, and fear that they have been taken to the notorious wildlife guards' camp at the entrance to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, where many Bushmen have been tortured in the past.

Maarama, arrested for hunting in 2005 and again this week One of those arrested, Maarama, has previously been arrested and tortured by wildlife guards. Interviewed by the Bushmen's own organisation First People of the Kalahari in Kaudwane camp earlier this year, he said, 'I don't want to live here; people are harrassing me, arresting me for nothing, torturing me for nothing, trying to finish my life. I want to go back to my homeland, this 'development' is torturing me for nothing. I hope I can go back as quickly as possible.'

These latest arrests come just days after two more Bushmen were arrested and charged with hunting illegally in the game reserve.