25 August 2011
Mswati’s bad human rights record worsens as students are beaten to a pulp
The Swaziland Solidarity Network is very troubled by the action of Swaziland’s police on Wednesday (24 August 2011). Under royal command, police beat up students from the University of Swaziland who were marching to parliament to deliver a petition.
The petition was seeking parliamentary assistance in the reopening of the country’s university, which has remained closed despite the fact that it should be long open by now. Reasons cited for the continued closer of the university are that the country’s government does not have money to fund its operations.
While the trash tabloid, the Times of Swaziland, deliberately distorted this story by claiming that the students were attempting to disrupt a march by Umhlanga maidens, the government’s own mouthpiece, the Swazi Observer, reported correctly that this was an unprovoked act of brutality as some of them were detained way after they had delivered the petition to the parliament clerk.
Some of the students were later detained, tortured and beaten again before being let go. These include the following:
1. Vice President of the Students Representative Council (SRC) Sibusiso Nhlabatsi
2. Sibusiso Dlamini.
3. Mlungisi Khumalo
4. Nhlanhla Sibiya
5. Lungelo Bhembe
6. Lucky Vilakati
7. Jones Dlamini
8. Mxolisi Dlamini
We commend the spirit of defiance shown by the Swazi students, who are naturally concerned about their education. We hope that all concerned Swazis will rally behind their children and render the country ungovernable until the students’ demands are met.
ARRESTS AT STUDENT PROTESTS