South African Soldiers Search Home
of Lesotho Journalist Naleli Ntlama

| Help Protest This Attack on the Press | Protest Index | CPJ Home |

.

.

.

November 9, 1998


Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili
Prime Minister's Office
Government Complex - Qhobosheaneng
PO. Box 527 Maseru 100
Lesotho

 

Your Excellency:

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) writes to strongly protest the forcible entry and the search, without a warrant, of the Lesotho residence of Naleli Ntlama, columnist for the newspaper Public Eye, conducted by soldiers of the South African National Defense Force (SANDF).

On November 3, 1998, Ntlama left his residence in Khubetsoana at approximately 11:00 a.m. When he returned home later that afternoon, Ntlama found his windows and doors broken. Neighbors informed Ntlama that, after he left his home that morning, two armored cars arrived and heavily armed SANDF soldiers surrounded his house. The soldiers broke the windows to enter the house, which they searched for approximately two hours. The search is believed to be in connection with the publication of Ntlama's column in a recent edition of Public Eye which characterized the intervention of SANDF troops in Lesotho as an "invasion" and an "attack."

As an organization of journalists dedicated to the defense of our colleagues around the world, CPJ is alarmed by the intrusion into Ntlama's residence. This action by SANDF troops constitutes a violation of journalists' rights to hold and express opinions and ideas, as guaranteed by Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and Article 9 of the African Charter of Human and People's Rights, to which we respectfully remind Your Excellency, Lesotho is a signatory.

CPJ strongly urges Your Excellency to ensure that there is a thorough investigation into this incident, and to guarantee the right of journalists to express opinions and ideas. Thank you for your attention to this matter. We welcome your comments.

 

Sincerely,

Ann K. Cooper

Executive Director



Join CPJ in Protesting Attacks on the Press in Lesotho

Send a letter to:

Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili
Prime Minister's Office
Government Complex - Qhobosheaneng
PO. Box 527 Maseru 100
Lesotho

FAX: +266 310559 / 320578