Ombudsman secures Human Rights victory
The Ombudsman, Advocate John Walters secured the release of 46 alleged illegal immigrants detained in Windhoek police holding cells. A case was filed in the Windhoek High Court on Friday, 10 February 2017, following findings by Ombudsman investigators that the alleged illegal immigrants from countries like Angola, Zimbabwe, DRC, and Kenya were being unlawfully detained . The investigators made the discovery while investigating human rights violations reported to the Office. The Ombudsman noted that the alleged illegal immigrants are being detained without signed warrants of detention
The Ombudsman cites that the detention of the accused does not comply with the provisions of the Immigration Control Act, hence the accused should be processed according to the provisions of the Immigration Control Act.
The Immigration Control Act states inter alia, an immigration officer may arrest a suspected illegal immigrant in Namibia and, while investigating the lawfulness of the person's presence in Namibia, have the person detained for a period not longer than 14 days. The Act also states that the detention of a suspected illegal immigrant may be extended by the minister of home affairs and immigration for periods not longer than 14 days at a time. Amongst the detainees are two minors who are both 17 years of age.
The Government through their lawyers conceded that the detention of the immigrants was illegal and that the detainees should be released. As a result of the concession Judge Uitetele issued an interim court order for the alleged illegal immigrants to be released and dealt with in terms of the provisions of the Immigrations Control Act.