Torture victims now total seven

June 27, 2005

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Seven Bushmen have been tortured this month by wildlife officials in Kaudwane, a relocation camp close to the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. Some report that they were tortured a number of times over three days in early June.

The victims, aged 26-57, are Tsuo Tshiamo, Meno Tshiamo, Helelo Tshiamo, Kganne Kgadikgadi, Sabokana Morwalela, Letshwao Nagayame and Moarama Nagayame.

The eldest, Letshwao Nagayame, 57, was handcuffed and tied upside down to a post. As he tried to support himself on his hands, officials stepped on his fingers, kicked him, and repeatedly punched him in the groin. They also violently pulled his genitals. He was unable to urinate for some days and now walks with some difficulty.

Sabokana Morwelela was laid face down on a table and hit repeatedly. He says that seven wildlife officials were involved. He now has severe back pain.

Kganne Kgadikgadi and Meno Tshiamo were handcuffed by hand and foot to the bullbar of a vehicle and dragged for about a kilometre. They have now been charged with hunting without a licence and are due to go to court in July.

On 24 June, Nagayame said, 'We want justice to be done. Please take our story to the world.'

In a separate incident last week, a young Bushman stabbed himself to death in the same relocation camp.

Photos of the victims will be available shortly. Please contact Miriam Ross on +44 (0) 20 7687 8734 or [email protected]