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Further information on UA 221/91 (AFR 53/23/91, 28 June) - South Africa: Hunger-strike: approximately 60 political prisoners in Rooigrond Prison (Bophuthatswana) including: Lawrence Mahila, Timothy Phiri, Johannes Simelane, Johannes Molefe, Zachariah Seab

, رقم الوثيقة: AFR 53/024/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 53/24/91
Distr: UA/SC
4 July 1991
Further information on UA 221/91 (AFR 53/23/91, 28 June 1991) - Hunger-Strike
SOUTH AFRICA: Approximately 60 Political prisoners in Rooigrond Prison,
(Bophuthatswana), including the following:
Lawrence MAHILA, aged 44 Frans MOKOMANE, aged 29
Timothy PHIRI, aged 34 Patrick CEBISA, and 23
Johannes SIMELANE, aged 33 Davis MATSHEGO, aged 30
Johannes MOLEFE, aged 30 Michael RANKU, aged 25
Zachariah SEABI, aged 28 Simon LEFAKANE, aged 27
Amnesty International is concerned by reports that political prisoners on
hunger-strike and under medical care in Bophelong Hospital, in Mafikeng,
(Bophuthatswana), have been forcibly removed from the hospital and relocated
to different hospitals. Bophuthatswana prison officials apparently entered
the hospital on 28 June 1991 and, ignoring protests of doctors and nurses that
the patients were in no condition to be moved, ordered the patients to pack
their belongings and prepare to be relocated. The prisoners were then directed
by the prison officials to carry their own intra-venous drips and were loaded
onto a minibus.
Fifteen of the hunger-strikers, including Lawrence Mahila, Frans
Mokomane, Davis Matshego, Patrick Cebisa and Johannes Simelane, were allegedly
flown to the Pretoria military base and were then transported to Odi Hospital
near GaRankuwa, north of Pretoria. GaRankuwa is within Bophuthatswana's
borders and is approximately a four hour drive from Mafikeng. All but six
of the remaining hunger-strikers were then moved to Victoria Hospital, a private
hospital in Mafikeng.
On 1 July 1991, prison officials forced the six remaining hunger-strikers
at Bophelong Hospital into a police van and took them to Victoria hospital.
Amnesty International is concerned that this forced relocation of the
hunger-strikers from Bophelong Hospital by the authorities has caused physical
and psychological suffering for the prisoners. In addition, Amnesty
International is concerned that relocation of some of the hunger- strikers
to Odi Hospital will make visits from lawyers and family members even more
difficult for the prisoners.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
letters:
- expressing concern that political prisoners on hunger-strike and under medical
care at Bophelong Hospital were forcibly removed from the hospital despite
opposition from medical staff treating them;
- urging that all prisoners on hunger-strike be granted full access to a medical
doctor of their choice and to the treatment prescribed by that doctor, both
during and after their hunger-strike;
- urging that all hunger-strikers be allowed regular access to their families
and lawyers;
2
- urging that the South African government speedily complete its review of
cases of all political prisoners, including those in the "homelands", in order
to prevent further suffering to the prisoners and their families.
3
APPEALS TO:
Chief L M Mangope
President
Government Offices
Mmabatho
Bophuthatswana, South Africa
Telegrams: President Mangope
Bophuthatswana, South Africa
Telexes: (+937) 3008 BOP
Faxes: + 27 140 842626
Mr S G Mothibe
Minister of Justice
Department of Justice
Private Bag X2033
Mmabatho 8681
Bophuthatswana, South Africa
Telegrams: Justice Minister
Bophuthatswana, South Africa
Mr F W De Klerk
State President
State President's Office
Private Bag X83
Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: President De Klerk
Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 321695 SPLIB SA;
321890 PRES SA; 322158 PRES SA
Faxes: + 27 12 323 3982
Mr R F Botha
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152
Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: Foreign Minister
Pretoria, S. Africa
Telexes: 350060 EXTERN TTX SA
Faxes: + 27 12 323 1664
COPIES TO one or more of the following:
- The Editor, The Star, PO Box 1014, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
- The Editor, New Nation, PO Box 10674, Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
- Human Rights Commission, PO Box 32723, Braamfontein 2017, South Africa
- Mafikeng Anti-Repression Forum (MAREF), PO Box 158, Ratshidi 8681, South
Africa
- African National Congress, Legal and Constitutional Affairs Department,
PO Box 61884, Marshalltown 2307, Johannesburg, South Africa
- National Medical and Dental Association (NAMDA), PO Box 17160, Congella
4013, South Africa
- Medical Association of South Africa (MASA), PO Box 20272, Alkantrant,
Pretoria 0005, South Africa
and to diplomatic representatives of South Africa in your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 15 August 1991.

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