Asylum seekers still waiting for freedom
Judge Phadi Solomon last Friday ordered that the detained rejected asylum seekers at Gerald Center for Illegal Immigrants be released and transported to Dukwi refugee camp on or before the 21st of July this year.
The ruling that was held in the court chambers followed an urgent application by human rights lawyer, Morgan Moseki.
He ordered that the respondents be adjudged to contempt of court by having willfully disobeyed an earlier order of the court granted on the 4th of July by refusing to release the petitioners from custody.
The respondents include the Director of Immigration and Citizenship and the Officer Commanding Prison Service Francistown Center for Illegal Immigrants.
The rejected asylum seekers are over 164 from different countries which include Congo, Burundi, Somalia, Namibia and other African countries.
They were detained illegally beyond permissible time which is 28 days in terms of the law.
In an interview with Moseki after the court revealed that the order was to imprison the respondents, he said the judge was reluctant to imprison the officers and that as the applicants they had decided that if the respondents will pay huge costs if they fail.
“The other issue we discussed in the chambers was that the only issue remaining is the provision of an ablution which we made an inspection of on Wednesday. And on that particular day they were not provided and we assumed that by now they should have. We have sent someone to check on site and there was nobody there,” said Moseki.
The petitioner’s lawyer added that if the order is not complied to on or before the 21st of July they are going to fight.
“They talked about food that they say is enough for two weeks supply and I can categorically state that this is false and the government knows it is false. And it is embarrassing for a sovereign state to start blaming an agency of the United Nations for failing to provide food when such food has been provided,” he concluded.