By Andile Mngxitama
I’m fascinated by Prophet Bushiri’s “escape”. As you know I strongly believe he is protected by international law and his extradition is almost impossible despite there being an extradition treaty between SA and Malawi. My reasoning in the matter relies on two claims he makes:
1. That the HAWKS he opened a case against were allowed to abuse their authority to undermine his rights through vindictive arrests.
2. His life was in danger and the SA government did nothing to protect him, despite numerous requests in this regard.
Just looking at one international convention based on persecution, we can see the exceptions the persecuted enjoy in international law. It’s instructive that in his media statement Prophet Shepherd Bushiri invoked the word “persecution”.
I had a quick look at the convention on refugees and persecution. It seems to me that people who can show persecution and lack of protection of rights cannot be forced back into a country that can’t guarantee their rights and safety.
The burden of showing that the Prophet would be protected is on the SA government. Remember the Prophet is not refusing to stand trial but seeks the protection of his fundamental rights which he has shown have been grossly undermined by the state itself.
The convention is suggestive of how the matter could be argued. As I said, I’m convinced that Major1 has a defendable case for leaving SA and skipping bail. It is worth noting that:
“The 1951 Convention, which was drafted after World War II, is the foundation of international refugee law that defined “refugee,” set principles preventing forced return of refugees to places where their lives or freedom would be threatened, and established the refugees’ and signing countries’ rights…”
I’m disregarding the refugee status but just focusing on the substantive question of whether a persecuted person can be forced back to a country that has grossly attacked their rights.
It would be nice to hear more from Human Rights lawyers specializing in International Law. I will try and find one and go live here to educate each other on these things.
Have a great day…
Andile Mngxitama is the President of Black First Land First (BLF), a radical black consciousness organization. When using any of Black Opinion’s content, partly or in full, kindly always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.