UN Human Rights Committee to examine Botswana

July 19, 2007

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Survival has submitted a report to the UN Human Rights Committee detailing the Botswana government’s failure to implement the December 2006 ruling in the case of the Kalahari Bushmen.

The committee will meet on Monday to consider issues relating to Botswana’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Since the December ruling, the Botswana government has refused to allow the Bushmen to hunt in the reserve. 21 Bushmen were recently arrested for hunting. It has also refused to allow the Bushmen to bring their small herds of goats into the reserve, or to pump their own water. It has claimed that only some of the evicted Bushmen may return, and it has refused to assist with transport.

The President of Botswana has visited many of the evicted Bushmen in an attempt to persuade them not to return to their land.

The report concludes, ‘Survival International would like the Committee to request the Botswana government to fully implement the December 2006 judgment in a spirit of justice and fairness to its people.’

Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘In spite of the court ruling, the Botswana government still wants to keep the Bushmen off their ancestral lands. Only a few are allowed back without permits and even they cannot hunt, cannot get at their water, and cannot have their small herds of goats. In other words, they can go back so long as they don't eat or drink.’

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