Thursday, December 18, 2008


Swazi police are looking for excuses to arrest one of Swaziland’s most prominent human rights advocates.

Police are saying that Musa Hlophe of the Swaziland Coalition of Concerned Citizens (SCCCO) made statements at a funeral that might be considered litigious.

Police tried a similar move against Mario Masuku, President of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), but had to drop the charge when they could find no evidence. Instead police charged Masuku with sedition.

According to the United Nations body, The Human Rights Observatory Hlophe is alleged to have made a litigious statement at the funeral of a dead lawyer, Mr. Musa 'MJ' Dlamini, who died in suspicious circumstances planting a bomb in September 2008.

The allegation against the police is being treated seriously in Swaziland. The Swazi Observer newspaper – the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati III – has given credence to the Observatory by publishing its allegations today (18 December 2008), not only in their newspaper in Swaziland, but on the internet, thereby alerting the world.

The Observer reports that Swazi Police Public Relations Officer Superintendent Vusi Masuku said he was not aware that Hlophe was wanted by police.

The Observer reports that the Observatory expressed deep concern about the situation prevailing in Swaziland. It reported that ‘the Observatory urges the Swazi authorities to conform to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the UN General Assembly’.

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