Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 November 2017, 14:36 GMT

Amnesty International Report 2006 - Namibia

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 23 May 2006
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 2006 - Namibia, 23 May 2006, available at: [accessed 21 November 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

The discovery of several mass graves near the Angolan border led to renewed calls for a truth and reconciliation commission. After President Hifikepunye Pohamba took office, there were fewer instances of government hate speech. Violence against women and children remained pervasive.


In March President Pohamba succeeded Samuel Nujoma, who had been head of state since independence in 1990. Former President Nujoma remained the President of the ruling party, SWAPO.

Mass graves

A series of mass graves, believed to contain the remains of SWAPO members from the 1966-89 liberation war, were uncovered in the north of the country. While opposition and civil society groups called for a truth and reconciliation commission, the government maintained that those who had information about such graves should come forward because the policy of national reconciliation would protect them from recrimination. SWAPO has rejected calls for a truth and reconciliation commission since independence.

Hate speech

There was less official hate speech after President Pohamba took office. However, former President Nujoma and Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration Teopolina Mushelenga did verbally attack gays and lesbians. Regular verbal attacks on minorities had been a hallmark of former President Nujoma's rule.

Trial of Caprivi detainees

Most of the 120 people on trial in connection with a separatist uprising in the Caprivi region in 1999 spent their sixth year in detention. The trial, which started in 2004 after years of procedural delays, was postponed for much of 2005 after a prosecuting lawyer was killed and two of her colleagues seriously injured in a car accident in March. Police officers accused of torturing suspects detained in the wake of the uprising have yet to face any formal charges or disciplinary action.

Violence against women and children

A high level of violence against women and children was evident from police bulletins, although no official figures were released. The particularly brutal murder of 21-year-old Juanita Mabula provoked popular outrage. Her beheaded body was found dumped on the outskirts of Windhoek in September. No one had been arrested for the murder by the end of the year.

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