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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

South Africa: Two Zimbabwean refugees die in detention

from SW Radio Africa:

Two Zimbabweans refugees died in a South African detention centre last week whilst awaiting deportation to Zimbabwe, our Botswana correspondent has revealed.

One was a pregnant woman who died of complications after allegedly failing to get proper medical attention. The other was a man who had been ill for just a few days.
Faced with often crowded conditions and little contact with the outside world, he said the mental well-being of detainees deteriorates very quickly. Still suffering from a bad cough he contracted during his three week ordeal in detention, Mafingenyi told us how spending even one night in a detention centre can be a harrowing and frustrating experience for refugees. 'You are subjected to beatings by the immigration officers. Fifteen people are forced to share a cell meant for 3 people. During the night all you hear are screams of people being tortured. It's just horrific. In life I never thought I would experience such a thing.'

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