LONDON — Amnesty International said Friday that South African soldiers using tear gas and whips broke into a church in a black South African homeland June 16, killing a 14-year-old boy and injuring at least 35 other people.
In previous statements this week, the human rights organization has reported that security forces detained three entire church congregations in South Africa on June 15 and June 16.
Amnesty said it had received reliable reports that troops entered the Mera Methodist Church in Mdantsane in Ciskei homeland during a memorial service for victims of the June 16, 1976, anti-apartheid uprising in Soweto. The troops reportedly struck the congregation with whips and set off tear gas. A 14-year-old boy died of head injuries, Amnesty International said.
The organization said Thursday that security forces using whips raided a black congregation June 16 at St. Peter Claver's Roman Catholic Church in Duncan Village in the eastern Cape province, near Ciskei homeland.
The South African government has confirmed that about 200 people were arrested June 15 in a church at Elsie's River. Amnesty International has reported that more than 500 people were detained June 16 from a church service in Graaff-Reinet.