24 August 2011
Police Attack Swazi Student! Attack the Future of Democracy
News has just been received that students protesting about the continuing closure of the University in Swaziland, and other related matters, were viciously attacked by the police and forcibly dispersed, despite the fact that they presented no threat to law and order. It is also reported that the tactic of ‘snatch and abduct’ has once again been applied. This involves illegally detaining activists without reason, and then transporting them to far corners of the country and dumping them, without resources in remote areas. This tactic has been condemned by the United Nations and every global Human Rights agency.
The South African Government could well reflect on the behaviour of the security forces in Swaziland when reconsidering as it must the terms for the repayment of the R2.5bn bailout. Surely, a complete cessation of this type of repressive reaction must be one of the so-called ‘confidence building’ measures looked for by the South African Government?
There are already a number of young courageous Student Union leaders inside Mswati’s prison, being denied their fundamental human rights, and prevented from finishing their schooling. Their crime? Standing up for a democratic Swaziland. Their release from prison is a priority concern, and this too should be added to the list of ‘democratic conditionalities’ (as opposed to the austerity measures recommended by the IMF and World Bank) that a democratic South Africa must seek from the Swazi regime.
The Swaziland Democracy Campaign applauds the students of Swaziland for standing up for their rights in the face of repression, and for their determination to establish social justice in their country.