Media Alert

Civil society organisations to address media on the ongoing raids targeting foreign nationals

Johannesburg, 11 May 2015 – Over the last fortnight we have witnessed human rights violations and arbitrary detentions of primarily foreign nationals under the controversial Operation Fiela-Reclaim, culminating in mass-arrests and detentions in the early hours Friday, 8 May 2015.

Lawyers have been repeatedly denied access to consult with those arrested during the raids on 8 May 2015 and most detainees still have not had the opportunity to speak to an attorney since their arrest on Friday morning, despite a court order requiring that access be granted. The People’s Coalition Against Xenophobia has held two protests outside the Johannesburg Central Police Station in opposition to the arrests and detention.

The ongoing denial of detainees’ rights to access legal representation and the imminent deportation of many people arrested early on Friday morning necessitate a return to court.

An urgent application will be heard tomorrow in the South Gauteng High Court in which Lawyers for Human Rights will seek an order granting legal representatives access to detainees; the provision of a full detainee list with locations of detainees; and the halting of any deportations until all detainees have had the opportunity to consult an attorney.

Journalists are invited to an emergency press conference tomorrow – Tuesday, 12 May at 14h00 – to discuss the urgent application and ongoing civil society efforts to address these raids across Johannesburg and their fall out.

The details are as follows:

Date:  Tuesday, 12 May 2015
Time:14h00
Venue: SECTION27, 5th Floor, Braamfontein Centre, 23 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Speakers include : Jacob van Garderen (Lawyers for Human Rights)
Marc Gbaffou (African Diaspora Forum)
Bishop Paul Verryn (Former Bishop, Central Methodist Church of SA)
A previously detained individual
Zwelinzima Vavi (former general secretary of COSATU) – TBC

Please RSVP to Patience Mkosana at Corruption Watch on 072 992 8380 or patiencem@corruptionwatch.org.za.

Download this press release as a PDF.

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Excerpt

The People's Coalition Against Xenophobia will tomorrow, 12 May, hold an emergency press conference. to discuss the urgent court application for detainees to have access to legal representatives, as well as ongoing civil society efforts to address these raids across Johannesburg and their fallout.