PDM condemns activists’ arrests, police brutality

Stefanus Nashama

The Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) yesterday condemned the arrests, alleged police brutality and intimidation of protesters against youth unemployment.

This follows the arrest of PDM Member of Parliament, Inna Hengari and activists Michael Amushelelo and Dimbulukeni Nauyoma on Tuesday after they were reportedly addressing a crowd of young people who showed up to protest against youth unemployment.

They were reportedly informing the crowd about a high court verdict dismissing their permission to protest on Independence Day, at Katutura Youth Centre.

The Public Gathering of Proclamation of 1989 used by the police to arrest the three protesters was a strategic tool of the apartheid government, designed and implemented to combat the resistance of freedom fighters, who dared to imagine a liberated, prosperous, just and humane Namibia for all young and old, PDM Secretary General, Manuel Ngaringombe said in a media statement.

“Against this, and all odds, we celebrate that the freedom fighters of generations before prevailed victorious, allowing us to commemorate 33 years of Namibian Independence – a day we knew would be bittersweet in the face of serious governance and socio-economic challenges,” he said.

“It is against this background, that we condemn the violent intimidation of our youth, in an attempt to silence and immobilise them in their noble and warranted plight for economic freedom and an effective government that prioritises job creation for the advancement of its people,” Ngaringombe stated.

Ngaringombe said they are resisting the birth of a police government in Namibia and condemn the growing culture of police brutality and human rights violations that threaten the actualisation of the right to protest while demanding the immediate release of Hengari, Amushelelo and Nauyoma. Ngaringombe indicated that the party stands in solidarity with not only unemployed youth in Namibia but with all Namibians acting to stand against the status quo of job desperation, who know that the crisis of youth unemployment is a threat to all Namibians, a shared burden with wide-reaching consequences to which no Namibian is immune.

He says the PDM continues to advocate for the declaration of a state of emergency over youth unemployment. He has since urged the government to pursue an urgent round table discussion with all relevant stakeholders, to which the party avails itself, to afford the youth unemployment crisis the necessary attention it deserves.

According to Ngaringombe, PDM also pleads with the government to uphold the liberties enshrined in the Namibian Constitution and to act in the interest of national unity and peace as a matter of urgency.

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