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Jan 31,2008
Johannesburg police arrest 1,500 homeless
by UPI

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa -- Bishop Paul Verryn said Johannesburg police violated the sanctity of his church Wednesday night when they rounded up 1,500 homeless people huddled there.

Police said they were looking for drugs, guns and illegal immigrants among those staying in the Central Methodist Church compound, the BBC reported. Those arrested included hundreds of Zimbabwean refugees, the British network said.

The bishop told the BBC he would have cooperated with police if they had sought his help in searching the building and checking the papers of those seeking refuge there. However, Verryn said, the manner in which police carried out the raid was a violation of the detainees' rights.

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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