Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsWater

Was Tortured in S. Africa, U.S. Cleric Says

March 12, 1987|Associated Press

BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe — A Detroit missionary freed after 12 weeks of detention in a South African homeland said today he was tortured by his jailers who stripped him naked and forced his head into a water-filled bag.

Father Casimir Paulsen, 51, was released Wednesday after being held without charge in Transkei, a nominally independent black homeland in South Africa.

"It was a nasty experience," Paulsen, a missionary of the Roman Catholic Marianhill Order, said after arriving in Bulawayo from Transkei. "In South Africa, it seems torture is the substitute for interrogation."

The priest said his jailers stripped him naked, handcuffed his wrists behind his back and forced his head into a canvas bag partially filled with water during interrogations.

"If my answers were negative they released the neck of the bag in such a way that water went into my nose and mouth," he said. "I simply could not breathe."

Paulsen said that no specific charges were leveled against him but that Transkei authorities suspected he supported guerrilla movements such as the outlawed African National Congress.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|