South Africa: Lawyers for Human Rights Call for Deportation Moratorium

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Lawyers for Human Rights is calling for a moratorium on the detention and deportation of migrants as well as unnecessary arrests and detention for Schedule 1 offences. They believe the move could contribute toward stemming Covid-10 infection in South Africa. Below is a statement from their Acting National Director Michael Clements:

On Sunday, 15 March 2020, President Cyril Ramaphosa declared a national state of disaster due to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Lawyers for Human Rights is committed to helping to flatten the curve of this virus, and to reducing the impact on our already fragile healthcare system. As such, effective today, the organisation's legal clinics will be closed for the next several weeks.

It is critical that during this time, the rights of vulnerable individuals and communities, including their access to justice and right to health, remain respected and protected.

To this end, LHR is today calling for a moratorium on the detention and deportation of migrants as well as unnecessary arrests and detention for Schedule 1 offences. Detained individuals in overcrowded detention centres such as Linda Repatriation, police stations, anmigd remand prisons are at high risk of contracting and spreading the virus. These facilities are ill-equipped to deal with...

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