Finally, my bags are packed and in 24 hours I will be boarding my plane to Cape Town, South Africa. Although spending my summer south of the equator would mean winter part II, I'm excited to start my internship with CSVR (and to hopefully get a chance to practice my Zulu!).
I've been spending the past few days reading the most recent articles on the CSVR website to get an idea of the sort of issues addressed by the Centre. One of CSVR's most recent efforts has been to combat police brutality in South Africa. Following the death of Mido Macia under police custody back in February, there has been a huge public outcry against the police. Macia was a 27-year-old Mozambican taxi driver who was arrested for a traffic violation. According to a police report, Macia became violent and was resisting arrest. However, this does not justify what happened next. Instead of putting him inside the police van, the arresting officers handcuffed Macia to the back of the van and drove off--dragging him through the streets. I couldn't believe the news report until I saw the footage myself (there are several video clips of the incident on youtube).
CSVR has urged the Parliament of South Africa to pass the Comabting of Torture of Persons Bill (Torture Bill). If the Torture Bill had been passed into law, the officers involved in the incident would be charged with torture as well as murder. I will be sure to post more on the Torture Bill once I arrive in Cape Town.