Namibia: Family to Sue Police Over Assault of Two Minors

THE family of the 15-year-old girl who was arrested and charged with obstructing the course of justice for taking a video of members of Operation Kalahari Desert on duty is suing for dam-ages after the case against her was thrown out of court.

The girl was taking a video of her younger cousin, who was being assaulted by the members of the operation on Saturday at Windhoek's Donkerhoek location.

She was then alleg-edly also assaulted by the police and arrested after the officers noticed that she had taken the footage. They stormed their home on Samuel Shikomba Street.

Human rights lawyer Norman Tjombe, rep-resenting the family, on Monday confirmed plans to sue, saying they have issued formal notices to the police, the Namibia Correctional Services and the Namibia Defence Force for intended legal action for the assault of the two minors. It is not clear how much the family is suing for.

Her cousin was assaulted by the operation members, who had come to intervene in a fight at a nearby house over stolen shoes.

The police assaulted the boy because he is allegedly a friend of the person who was accused of stealing the shoes.

This led the family of the minors going to the police station at Katutura, where they opened a case of assault against the police officers, who in retaliation opened a case against the minor.

However, the prosecution at the Windhoek Magistrate's Court in Katutura on Monday declined to prosecute and the case was thrown out because there is no law that the minor cannot take a video of members of the operation.

"The arrest of [the two minors] violated constitutional and statu-tory rights including their right to liberty, freedom of movement, and dignity, and accordingly, they suffered damages," stated the family's notice to sue.

The girl's mother, Confidence Kubukeni, yesterday confirmed that they are suing, but said the idea behind it is to set an example for other offic-ers who want to assault children in future.

"It is not about the money. Someone needs to be held accountable for what happened. This has seriously affected my daughter and it might affect her reputation in the future too," said Kubukeni.

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