Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Anton Lubowski (Namibia)


Anton Lubowski is one of the most famous human rights lawyers in Namibia. He is a third generation Namibian, with his forefathers coming from Germany. In 1984 he became the first representative of the SWAPO. He became their national chairperson, and lawyer as well as legal counsel to the chairperson Sam Nujoma. He was always an advocate of labor unions including the Nationalen Gewerkschaftsbundes, which was banned for a time period. He is a founding member of a Namibian labor union.

Lubowski was the first white member of SWAPO, and since joining he has faced threats towards himself and his family. In the late 1980s he was jailed six times on counts of sabotage and propagating violence. On one of those occasions he was left in solitary confinement for three weeks. His criticism of human rights’ violations in both Namibia and South Africa has brought him considerable pressure from the government. It was of great importance to Lubowski that white Namibians begin to understand that SWAPO promoted the idea of a non-racial society. He began to organize meetings between important white citizens and black SWAPO leaders.

With the introduction of the UN Security Council Resolution 435, the independence process in Namibia began. In the following several months Lubowski threw himself into the election campaign, and began welcoming his fellow SWAPO members back into the country after their exile. On September 12, 1989 Lubowski was assassinated outside his house in Namibia. His murderer was never found, but it is known that the murder was organized by the Civil Co-operation Bureau, a state-run terrorist organization.
On September 12, 1989, Anton Lubowski was murdered in front of his home in Namibia. His killer was never found, but it is known that the killing was organized by the Civil Co-Operation Bureau, which worked to enforce apartheid.