People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO)
7 September 2011
As the global week of action activities intensify, the Swazi regime has deployed its riot squad. The Eastern town of Siteki has been turned into a war zone. The police have started firing rubber bullets and teargas at protesters despite the fact that the protesters have all along been peaceful. This among others has been sparked by what the police call invasion by non Swazis, referring to the international activists currently on the ground in Swaziland.
Police top brass have also communicated to the leaders of the protest that COSATU leaders currently in Swaziland must not be given any more opportunity to speak. Journalists have also been instructed to cut out some “undesirable” parts of the speeches when they write their final stories for the next issue. As we speak, reports from Swaziland are that a number of comrades have been arrested.
The leadership of COSATU was taken into cars out of the danger zone by organisers but later intercepted by the armed forces and are being deported. Senior leaders of the trade union of Swaziland and leaders of PUDEMO have been badly beaten up. The battles are still raging on with the police now in direct confrontation with mainly the youth and students.
According to one student activist “we can not sit back and watch our leaders beaten up”
PUDEMO condemns this brutality and harassment of unarmed civilians by the armed forces of King Mswati.
We call on the international community to stop any financial Aid until there is democracy in that country. This regime is brutal, undemocratic and paranoid. It does not deserve any sympathy from the world.
SWAZI PROTESTS SPREAD TO MANZINI