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UA 374/90 - South Africa: Legal concern / health concern: Yusuf Mohamed

, رقم الوثيقة: AFR 53/064/1990

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 53/64/90
Distr: UA/SC
UA 374/90 Legal concern/health concern 18 September 1990
SOUTH AFRICA: Yusuf MOHAMED, aged 35, pharmacist,
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Yusuf Mohamed was detained by the police on 19 August 1990 in Harding, Natal
province, reportedly in connection with police investigations into African
National Congress (ANC) underground activities. He has been held since then
under the terms of section 29 of the Internal Security Act, which permits the
police to detain a person incommunicado, in solitary confinement and
indefinitely, for the purposes of interrogation. On 22 August 1990 he was
transferred, possibly from a Johannesburg prison, to Johannesburg hospital.
According to reports from doctors he is suffering from depression as a
consequence of his detention conditions and has attempted to commit suicide.
He remains in hospital under police custody. Doctors believe that if he is
returned to the detention cells, his condition will further deteriorate.
Amnesty International is concerned that Yusuf Mohamed is being held under
a provision of the law which facilitates the ill-treatment and torture of
detainees. In addition, solitary confinement, often in combination with
intensive interrogation sessions by the police, has resulted in sometimes
permanent psychological damage to detainees. Amnesty International is urging
the authorities to release Yusuf Mohamed immediately if they do not intend
to charge him promptly with a recognizably criminal offence.
BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Since the state of emergency was lifted in South Africa on 8 June 1990, with
the exception of Natal province and the nominally-independent "homeland" of
Bophuthatswana, detentions of government critics and political opponents have
continued to occur. The police have been relying primarily upon their powers
under the Internal Security Act to detain political activists. On 12 September
111 people were known to be detained without charge under the terms of section
29 of this act. In addition, detentions have been occurring under the
Bophuthatswana state of emergency legislation, as well as under new South
African emergency legislation imposed in August 1990 on newly declared "unrest
areas" in the Transvaal.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail letters:
- expressing concern over the detention without charge or trial of Yusuf Mohamed
under legislation which permits indefinite incommunicado detention in solitary
confinement;
- expressing concern over reports that he has become severely depressed and
suicidal and requires hospital treatment as a result of his detention;
- urging his immediate and unconditional release unless he is to be brought
to trial fairly and without delay on recognizably criminal charges.
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APPEALS TO:
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
Mr A J Vlok
Minister of Law and Order
Private Bag X463
Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: Minister Law/Order, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 321353 HABS SA or 321358 HABS SA (via Ministry of Home Affairs)
Faxes: +27 12 322 2559
Lt-Gen Van Der Merwe
Commissioner of Police
Police Headquarters
Private Bag X94
Pretoria 0001, South Africa
Telegrams: Police Commissioner Van Der Merwe, Pretoria, South Africa
Telexes: 3-20772 SAPQM SA; 3-20838 SAPOB SA
Faxes: + 27 12 323 2033
Head of Security Police
Witwatersrand Provincial Division
Private Bag 5
Johannesburg 2000, South Africa
Telegrams: Head Security Police, Witwatersrand Division, Johannesburg South
Africa
COPIES TO:
- The Attorney General for the Witwatersrand, The Supreme Court,
Private Bag X8, Johannesburg 2000
- Dr C E M Viljoen, Secretary General, Medical Association of South Africa,
PO Box 20272, Alkantrant, Pretoria 0005
- The Editor, The Star, POB 1014, Johannesburg 2000
- The Editor, Vrye Weekblad, PO Box 42637, Fordsburg 2033
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after
23 October 1990.
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