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Amushelelo Wife Threatens to Protest for Activist’s Release

The wife of detained social activist Michael Amushelelo has threatened to stage a protest on 11 October in an effort to secure her husband’s release.

Julieta Amushelelo confirmed to The Namibian yesterday that she plans to stage the protest on the same day that his trial is set to take place in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court.

A bail application by Amushelelo was turned down in the same court a month after his arrest on Independence Day in March, and he has remained in custody since then. Amushelelo and fellow activist Nauyoma and the Popular Democratic Movement’s member of parliament Ina Hengari were charged with counts of public violence, incitement to public violence and malicious damage to property during a protest against youth unemployment.

Julieta yesterday expressed her concerns on social media about the hunger strike that Amushelelo claims he has embarked on since Sunday.

“As his wife, this hurts me beyond words knowing that I might get a call informing me that something has happened to him or I should make arrangements for his body,” she said earlier on social media.

Julieta said she tried in vain to talk him out of going on a hunger strike after receiving little to no support from the Namibian nation.

“He now needs to use all that he can to fight for his own freedom from behind bars. This is why I am planning a protest,” she said.

Julieta said last month on 12 September 2023, Amushelelo was due to start his trial but the police never brought him to court and his trial date was postponed for another 30 days.

“I know that I can not do this on my own. Hence why I, Julieta Amushelelo, am humbly asking the Namibian nation to please join me at the protest for my husband to be granted bail. I believe that if we come in numbers and stand as one, this will be able to help him get justice.”

She has further asked for any individuals to help her reach out to any worldwide human rights organisations and international media platforms to intervene.

Meanwhile, Namibian Correctional Service public relations officer Salmi Hangula said their office has been receiving unabated calls about Amushelelo’s well-being after he claimed he was on a hunger strike.

“Please note that inmate Amushelelo is not on a hunger strike. The Namibian Correctional Service’s public relations team will keep you informed of any new development.”

In a social media post believed to be operated by Amushelelo, he announced that he was left with no other choice but to fight for his own rights.

He said due to his limited options in prison, he has to undergo an inhumane process of self torture as the only means at his disposal to fight for his freedom.

“I have embarked on a hunger strike and I only have one demand and that is my freedom. I will remain on hunger strike until I have obtained my freedom,” he said.

“If I have to die in order to attain my freedom then so shall it be, the way I see it, the government can either start preparing my release from prison or my death certificate, but either way I refuse to continue being a political prisoner,” he added.