The long-running treason trial of Caprivi detainees entered its 11th year. Another detainee died in custody, bringing the total number of Caprivi detainees who have died in custody to 21. Human rights defenders, journalists and civil society organizations critical of government and the ruling South West African People’s Organization (SWAPO) party were targeted by government officials and SWAPO supporters.
Opposition political parties petitioned the High Court to nullify the results of the National Assembly elections that were held in November 2009.Top of page
The Caprivi high treason trial, the biggest and longest criminal trial in Namibia’s history, continued. The accused were charged with involvement in attacks carried out in the Caprivi Strip in 1999 by the Caprivi Liberation Army. At the start of the trial in October 2003, there were 132 people on trial. By the end of 2010, 21 of them had died in custody, including Ritual Mukungu Matengu who died on 28 May.
Saviour Ndala Tutalife, Postrick Mwinga and Britian Simisho Lielezo, three Caprivi detainees who lodged compensation claims for torture against the Minister of Home Affairs and the Minister of Defence, had their cases dismissed by the High Court. The judgement in Britian Simisho Lielezo’s case was handed down in January and that of Saviour Ndala Tutalife and Postrick Mwinga in July.Top of page
Media organizations and journalists critical of the government and members of the ruling SWAPO party were targeted by the authorities and their supporters. Also targeted were human rights defenders and organizations critical of the government. The government maintained a ban imposed in 2000 stopping government departments placing advertisements in the Namibian newspaper, an independent paper seen as critical of the government and SWAPO.
Rape, attempted rape and murder of women were reported throughout the year.