Political prisoners


SATIS-ACTION was a scheme that alerted subscribers to new political trials and death sentences in South Africa and Namibia. Supporters were asked to send letters and telegrams to the South African government and to ask the British government to intervene.

pic8221. Freedom for David Kitson

Members of City of London Anti-Apartheid Group call for the release of South African political prisoner David Kitson. The Group launched a non-stop picket of South Africa House in August 1982. Kitson served 20 years imprisonment in South Africa and was released in 1984. In the picture on the right are David Kitson’s wife Norma Kitson and son Steve.

pri41. Political Prisoners Day demonstration, Glasgow

Leaflet publicising a march through the centre of Glasgow to call for the release of all South African and Namibian political prisoners.

pri25. ‘Free Political Prisoners’ postcards

Set of six postcards designed by Ken Sprague calling for the release of South African and Namibian political prisoners.

po075. Free All South African & Namibian Political Prisoners

One of many posters published by the Anti-Apartheid Movement to publicise the campaign for the release of political prisoners in South Africa and Namibia.

pri26. ‘Release Albertina Sisulu’

Leaflet asking AAM supporters to protest outside the South African Embassy on the opening day of the trial of Albertina Sisulu in 1983.

gov23. Letter from Malcolm Rifkind to Des Starrs

Letter from Malcolm Rifkind, Minister of State at the Foreign Office, replying to a request from Des Starrs, Chair of Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS), for the British government to intervene on behalf of the Kassinga detainees. In 1978 South African armed forces killed around 600 Namibian refugees at Kassinga refugee camp in Angola and took hundreds more prisoner. Five years later some of them were still held in detention in Namibia. Malcolm Rifkind turned down the request for a meeting on the grounds that he had already met an AAM delegation to discuss repression in the Ciskei.

pic8407. Namibia torture protest

Namibia Support Committee protesters called for the recognition of SWAPO freedom fighters Sam Mundjindji and Veiko Nghitewa as prisoners of war. The protest marked the opening of their trial on 5 February 1984. The two men had been subject to months of torture and solitary confinement. They were eventually released in July 1989 in the run-up to Namibian independence.