Swaziland’s government is under attack from the United Kingdom over the way it treated a UK national during last week’s protest action in the kingdom.
Swazi police rounded up foreigners who attended a meeting in support of democratic change in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, and after assaulting and harassing them expelled them from Swaziland.
Now a representative of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has said it will be ‘making representations’ towards the Swazi regime over the ‘mistreatment’ of a UK foreign national during the Global Week of Action in Swaziland.
Peter Kenworthy, who writes the stiffkitten blog, reports today (17 September 2010). ‘The Foreign and Commonwealth Office takes all allegations of mistreatment against British nationals very seriously and will raise the allegations with the relevant authority in the country concerned,’ the representative wrote on 16 September in a reply to an email sent to them raising the issues of the mistreatment of a British citizen on 7 September in Manzini.
A delegation from Danish organisation Africa Contact, including two Danish citizens and one British, Peter Kenworthy, were detained by police, beaten, threatened, and denied any legal representation, food, drink, or visits to the toilet during a five hour ordeal at Manzini Regional Police Headquarters.
The representative also stated that they would ask ‘our High Commission in Pretoria to raise the allegations with the Swaziland authorities’, and insisted that they would ‘ask for an investigation to be conducted and the perpetrator(s) brought to justice’.