Xenophobic Violence Against Non-Nationals in South Africa

The 63-page report, “‘They Have Robbed Me of My Life’: Xenophobic Violence Against Non-Nationals in South Africa,” details xenophobic incidents in the year after the government adopted the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Human Rights Watch documented killings, serious injuries, forced displacement, discrimination, and barriers to justice and basic services. The problems include indifference, denial and tacit approval of xenophobic actions by government and law enforcement authorities, barriers to legal representation, and difficulty in acquiring and renewing documents to maintain legal status and to access services including education and health care.


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  • The government of President Alberto Fujimori has been seriously challenged by insurgent threat from Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and the Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA); both groups having been responsible for civilian casualties and other gross violations of the laws of war.
  • 30 Years of War and Famine in Ethiopia

    For the past thirty years under both Emperor Haile Selassie and President Mengistu Haile Mariam, Ethiopia has suffered continuous war and intermittent famine until every single province has been affected by war to some degree.
  • From our “ Destroying Ethnic Identity Series”

    Ethnic hatred and violence directed against Gypsies in Romania has escalated dramatically since the 1989 revolution: rarely a month passed without another Gypsy village being attacked. Gypsy homes have been burned, their possessions destroyed, they have been chased from their villages, and often not allowed to return.
  • In 1989, Helsinki Watch severely criticized conditions in the Czech prison system. The criticism was in a report prepared by Professor Herman Schwartz, Chairman of the Human Rights Watch Prison Project Advisory Committee, and was based on numerous interviews in early 1988 with recently released prisoners.
  • The Need to Protect Human Rights

    On May 21, 1991, the Secretary General of the United Nations issued a public statement outlining in very broad terms the framework for a political settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan.
  • Extradition Sought For Alleged Death Squad Participant

    On August 16, 1991, a federal magistrate in San Antonio, Texas will rule on a request by the government of El Salvador to extradite César Vielman Joya Martínez, a former soldier in the intelligence unit of the First Infantry Brigade of the Salvadoran Army, for his alleged involvement in the murder of two young men in El Sal
  • Minister Says Detainees "Safer" in Custody

    Ghana's ruling Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC), chaired by Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings, has claimed -- for the third time in as many years -- that Ghana has no political prisoners.
  • Violence between separatist Sikh militants and government forces in Punjab has escalated to unprecedented levels, claiming thousands of civilian lives. Since 1984, the security forces have adopted increasingly brutal methods to stem the militant movement, resulting in widespread human rights violations.
  • Tadzhikistan

    An analysis of the Soviet army’s use of lethal force against initially peaceful protestors in the Soviet Central Asian republic of Tadzhikistan in mid-February 1990, this report is based on numerous interviews with local sources conducted in the republic in May and November 1991.
  • This comprehensive assessment of the current human rights situation in Kenya goes well beyond those aspects that are ordinarily the focus of international attention: the efforts of Nairobi-based journalists, lawyers, clergy and political figures to promote the rule of law and an open, accountable system of government.
  • Chile During President Aylwin’s First Year

    When Patricio Aylwin became President of Chile, on March 11, 1990, he had promised to resolve the human rights legacy of over sixteen years of military dictatorship, through a process of exposing the truth about past abuses and seeking justice.
  • Censorship and Corruption

    Far from thanking their critics, governments go to great lengths to silence them.
  • Aceh, the "special region" of Indonesia on the northern tip of Sumatra, continues to be the target of an intensive counterinsurgency campaign waged by the Indonesian army against guerrillas of the Aceh Merdeka or Free Aceh movement.
  • Administration's `Alien Terrorist Removal' Plan Puts U. S. in Company of Repressive Regimes

    The Bush Administration has proposed legislation in Congress that would authorize secret proceedings for the deportation of foreign nationals accused of terrorism. If enacted, this proposal would depart from two centuries of history and law in the U.S.