13 April 2011 18.40 hrs GMT
Police Mayhem Reaches New Heights with Siege of SNAT
Urgent: Call for immediate intervention : Hundreds Imprisoned in Union Offices
Hundreds of Swazi trade union and democracy activists have been forcibly locked up in the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) premises by fully armed security forces in Swaziland. They are armed with live ammunition and sporting new weaponry that the regime has recently acquired clearly for the purpose of oppressing the people of Swaziland. The police have placed their own heavy duty prison issue padlocks on the main gates and have surrounded the premises in a very threatening manner. Activists inside are appealing for immediate intervention from both inside and outside the country.
SDC eye witnesses report that the police are behaving in a very irrational and aggressive manner. They are intoxicated by their own insecurity and the encouragement of their seniors. We stress that this could rapidly turn into a very real threat to the lives of our comrades who are besieged. The police have stated that they believe that there are explosives inside the SNAT Offices, and have ordered everyone to get on the floor in readiness for a shoot out.
We urge all of our supporters everywhere in the world to demand that Hands Off The SNAT House Democracy Activists! Please send urgent messages to Swazi High Commissions and Consuls, copy to your own Government and send copies to the Swaziland Democracy Campaign. Utilise all media outlets as a matter of urgency.
Please alert all the comrades you know in Swaziland to mobilize and give those in the SNAT Siege practical support and solidarity. Campaign for the police siege to be lifted, and for the immediate withdrawal of the security forces.
We call upon the African National Congress (ANC), the South African Government, United Nations (UN) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene immediately. They must tell Mswati to back off, and release our comrades immediately. If further brutality is unleashed, blood will also be on their complacent indecisive hands!
For more information please contact:
Mary Pais Da Silva (00268 7603 0076, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sikelela Dlamini (00268 7617 1151, email@example.com)
Stephen Faulkner (082 817 5455, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ntokozo Mbhele (072 370 0974 email@example.com)
Philani Ndebele (076 942 3565 firstname.lastname@example.org)