Tuesday, April 12, 2011


This is a statement from Freedom House.

12 April 2011


Swazi Civil Society Leaders Detained

Freedom House has credible reports that early this morning (12 April 2011) Swazi trade union and civil society leaders were detained and removed to a remote, unknown location.

One of those arrested managed to phone a contact in South Africa as they were being driven into the countryside, but the line went dead as he was attempting to describe where the vehicle appeared to be heading at the time.

An urgent application to the Swaziland high court will seek an order to cause the authorities to confirm that the leaders are under arrest, to reveal their names and the place(s) of detention, and to allow attorneys access to the detainees. Given the past history of torture and killings of Swazi human rights defenders while in police custody, this is urgently necessary to attempt to prevent a recurrence of torture and worse.

The following are names and titles of those known to be in detention:

Maxwell Dlamini - Swaziland University Student President

Sibongile Mazibuko - Swaziland National Association of Teachers President

Vincent Ncongwane - Swaziland Federation of Labor National Secretary General

Themba Mabuza - Swaziland United Democratic Front National Organizing Secretary

Sifiso Mabuza - Swaziland Youth Congress Deputy President

All seven members of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers executive of the town of Nhlangano reportedly are also detained.

Activists now fear that more than 100 people might have been arrested based on the number of people who cannot be located today. However some or many of these might be in hiding

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