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Namibia

Constitution of February 1990.

Article 3

    (1) The official language of Namibia shall be English.

    (2) Nothing contained in this Constitution shall prohibit the use of any other language as a medium of instruction in private schools or in schools financed or subsidised by the State, subject to compliance with such requirements as may be imposed by law, to ensure proficiency in the official language, or for pedagogic reasons.

    (3) Nothing contained in Paragraph (1) shall preclude legislation by Parliament which permits the use of a language other than English for legislative, administrative and judicial purposes in regions or areas where such other language or languages are spoken by a substantial component of the population.

Article 11

    (2) No persons who are arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed promptly in a language they understand of the grounds for such arrest.

Article 19

    Every person shall be entitled to enjoy, practice, profess, maintain and promote any culture, language, tradition or religion subject to the terms of this Constitution and further subject to the condition that the rights protected by this article do not impinge upon the rights of others or the national interest.

Article 19

    (2) Where any persons are detained by virtue of such authorization as is referred to in Paragraph (1), the following provisions shall apply:
      a) they shall, as soon as reasonably practicable and in any case not more than five (5) days after the commencement of their detention, be furnished with a statement in writing in a language that they understand specifying in detail the grounds upon which they are detained and, at their request, this statement shall be read to them;
      b) not more than fourteen (14) days after the commencement of their detention, be furnished with a statement in writing in a language that they understand specifying in detail the grounds upon which they are detained and, at their request, this statement shall be read to them;

Note: The complete text of the Constitution and further information on the constitutional background of Namibia are provided by the International Constitutional Law Project at the University of Bern.


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