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Thursday, 5 February 2015

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS BACK IN COURT

Mario and Maxwell case postponed again

Kenworthy News Media, 5 February 2015 

The court case of Swazi human rights advocates Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini has been postponed until March 2015, writes Kenworthy News Media.

The case was postponed pending the hearing on the constitutionality of Swaziland’s Terrorism Act in March, and was referred back to the High Court Registrar, pending finalisation of this constitutional challenge.

According to an eyewitness, “the court was filled to capacity with PUDEMO-members and human rights activists. Mario and Maxwell were brought into court in handcuffs which were removed only when their case was called. No pictures of them were allowed as the correctional officers blocked them from view and whisked them away.”

Mario Masuku is the President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), a political party that fights for democracy in Africa’s last absolute monarchy. Maxwell Dlamini is the Secretary General of PUDEMO’s youth wing, the Swaziland Youth Congress.

They are charged under an anti-terrorism bill that Amnesty International has called “inherently repressive” for having shouted “viva PUDEMO” and criticized the government in a speech on Mayday last year. If convicted they could serve up to 15 years in prison.

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