Prosecutor General Accused of Inaction

NamRights has blamed the Prosecutor General (PG) Martha Imalwa and her office for the “non-prosecution or slow prosecution” of criminal cases in the country.

In a gly worded statement the human rights organisation said very serious crimes, including white-collar and other grave crimes are yet to be prosecuted because of what it calls indecision and or inaction by the PG and her office. NamRights executive director, Phil ya Nangoloh, was reacting to an article in New Era in which Imalwa and the director of the Legal Assistance Centre, Toni Hancox, expressed shock over the severity of child abuse in Namibia.

The latest statistics reveal that at least 814 Namibian children have either been physically or sexually abused during the past twelve months, while 923 children have been neglected or abandoned in the past year. According to government records 539 girls and 275 boys were physically andor sexually abused during the period April 2013 to March 2014. Records also show that in the past year there has been an increase in children being abandoned and neglected with the toll standing at 923, up from 896 between April 2012 and March 2013. “NamRights does not believe that Prosecutor-General Martha Imalwa is serious about curbing all serious crimes in Namibia. These include very grave crimes such as torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” the human rights organization claims.

NamRights further says while it agrees with the PG on the gravity of the abuses against children, it held her office and herself personally responsible for the non-prosecution of criminal cases. NamRights pointed to the Caprivi secession case, accusing the PG of failing and refusing to prosecute perpetrators of torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment. Ya Nangoloh further alleges that Imalwa has been sitting on the secession torture dockets for years, while she knows that such degrading treatment or punishment is a grave crime that needs to be brought to justice promptly. Data collected between April 2012 to March 2013 indicate a slight decline of about 8 percent in cases of sexual andor physical abuse of children. Moreover, violence against children often goes unreported since the victims may be too young or afraid to report incidents of abuse or violence.

Source : New Era