Following xenophobic attacks this week, thirteen national sections and offices of Amnesty International working across Africa strongly condemn the flagrant disregard for life, killings, brutal attacks and shocking hate crimes in South Africa. The horrific events have led to the loss of lives and destruction of properties of migrants and refugees in South Africa. The recent xenophobic attacks against Africans this year are a shocking realisation that the South African government has failed to curb for many years. State and civic inaction over the years has increased the potential for repeat and future attacks against non-South Africans.
We call on the South African government to respect the human rights of every person within its territory in conformity with international human rights law. Consequently, every person is equal before the law and is entitled to equal protection of the law.
We urge the South African authorities to take urgent steps necessary to stop the violence and killings. The government must promptly, thoroughly, impartially and effectively investigate the reports of violence and killings in the latest attacks and past events. Without prosecution of individuals suspected to be responsible for the violence in line with international human rights standards this cycle will not be broken.
Lastly, we further call on the South African government to promote respect of human rights through education and public awareness. All persons in South Africa must understand that xenophobic attacks are human rights violations, betray the liberation movement and will not be tolerated.
Signed by the following Amnesty International national entities in Africa:
Amnesty International Benin
Amnesty International Burkina Faso
Amnesty International Cote D’ Ivoire
Amnesty International GhanaAmnesty International Guinea
Amnesty International Kenya
Amnesty International Mali
Amnesty International Nigeria
Amnesty International Senegal
Amnesty International Sierra Leone
Amnesty International South Africa
Amnesty International Togo
Amnesty International Zimbabwe