6 June 2011
Demand justice for Maxwell!
Join us in demanding that the Swazi regime free Maxwell Dlamini by:
Calling for the unconditional release of Maxwell Dlamini and his fellow-accused Musa Ngubeni, whom we regard as political prisoners, and demanding an investigation into the allegations of torture of Maxwell Dlamini by Swazi officers, with subsequent charges brought against anyone found guilty of having taken part in such actions, by copying the letter below and sending it to the Swazi regime.
You can also be part of the British National Union of students’ call for the immediate release of Maxwell Dlamini and Musa Ngubeni by writing to Swaziland’s High Commission in London HERE
Copy the letter below and send it to one or all of the following people by e-mail:
Cabinet Office of Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini
Dear [insert name and/or department / Ministry]
I am writing to you concerning Maxwell Dlamini, President of the Swaziland National Union of Students.
On April 2011, he was reportedly tortured while held in detention by Swazi officers in order to make him sign a confession, admitting to having been in possession of explosives, and thus allegedly contravening Sections 8 and 9 of Swaziland’s Explosives Act 4 of 1961.
Maxwell Dlamini had already been pre-emptively detained on April 11, before the so-called April 12 Uprising, but released, only to be re-arrested and charged. There were reports of mass-detentions and violent conduct by police officers and security forces, during the duration of the demonstrations, from April 12 to April 15.
Members of Swaziland’s government and officials had clearly tried to intimidate people in Swaziland into not participating in the demonstrations. Swaziland’s Prime Minister, Barnabas Dlamini, had warned anyone considering doing so that his security forces would “crush the protests”, and police commissioner Isaac Magagula stated, “everyone is a suspect until proven otherwise.”
I believe that Maxwell Dlamini and his fellow-accused, Musa Ngubeni, are political prisoners and are thus unlikely to be given a fair trial.
I therefore call on you to
- unconditionally release Maxwell Dlamini and all other political prisoners in Swaziland
- open a prompt, impartial and comprehensive investigation into the allegations that Maxwell Dlamini was tortured and ill-treated in custody. While this investigation is ongoing, the officers accused of torture should be suspended from duty.
- ensure that anyone found to have tortured and/or ill-treated Maxwell Dlamini are brought to justice in a fair trial and, if they are found guilty, that the sentences imposed are commensurate with the gravity of the crime.
I furthermore demand that the use of torture is condemned at the highest levels of government – especially as Swaziland have ratified ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture in 2004 and since there have been many previous allegations of torture committed by Swazi officials – and call on you to ensure that safeguards are put in place to prevent torture and ill-treatment in the future.
These safeguards should include ending the practice of de facto unacknowledged detention, banning the admissibility of torture confessions in court proceedings, giving access to independent public monitors to all detention facilities, and creating a truly independent complaints mechanism, so that the torturers can be charged and brought to justice.
I thank you for your consideration in this important matter. I hope you will inform the Free Maxwell Dlamini Campaign (firstname.lastname@example.org) on how you intend to deal with the concerns raised in this letter.
[your name and organisation]