Twelve Swaziland schoolchildren, accused of being leaders in a class boycott, say they were beaten up by police officers with batons, in their own school, in front of the school’s principal.
The pupils of Kubongeni High School say they were called individually into the school’s staffroom where the police officers and their principal were. They say they were then assaulted with batons and fists.
The Times of Swaziland,the only independent daily newspaper in the kingdom, reports the pupils say they suffered injuries during the beatings and all 12 of them had to seek medical attention at the Mkhuzweni Health Centre and Herefords Clinic.
Seven of them did not go to school the next day because of the injuries.
The pupils say they were beaten because they were suspected of being leaders in a boycott that left the school closed for several days. One pupil suffered a broken arm during the protest.
The Times reports that the school became suspicious that the pupils were about to organise another boycott, so the police were called.
John Dlamini, the school’s principal, told the Times, he did call the police, but he did not witness the assaults. ‘I did not see the police beating the pupils because I had gone out of the office,’ the newspaper reports him saying.