Peter Kenworthy of the Free Maxwell Dlamini Campaign writes.
Petitioners from around the world call for the release of Maxwell Dlamini
The Free Maxwell Dlamini Campaign has started a petition for the release of Swazi student leader and political prisoner, Maxwell Dlamini. Dlamini was detained and charged with possession of explosives before the April 12 Uprising in Swaziland, was allegedly tortured and forced to sign a confession, and has been awaiting trial ever since.
People from around the world have been eager to sign the petition – Canada, Western Sahara, Colombia, Chile, France, Sri Lanka, Iceland, USA, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Thailand, Philippines, Denmark, India.
Many of petitioners also voiced their opinions about Maxwell’s case and the state of affairs in Swaziland.
“I am signing because it’s time for Swaziland’s government to end political and human oppression and to give the land the chance of voting free democratic parties,” Udo from Germany wrote.
“He has to be released because he is not a criminal,” Percy from Swaziland insisted. “He is rather fighting for the liberation of other students, workers, peasants and the rest of the Swazi populace. The real culprits who should be arrested are the ones who stole public monies and those who charge that people and ordinary Swazis who are upright like Maxwell are arrested.”
“He is innocent and all reproaches to him are lies. As a democrat and someone who concerned Human Rights I condemn the situation in Swaziland, especially the situation of Maxwell. I demand the immediately release of Maxwell,” writes Malte, from Germany.
“If there is credible evidence against Mr Dlamini charge him and allow him his day in court and allow him the right to defend himself,” wrote Graham from South Africa. “Detention without trial is a human rights abuse. The rule of law needs to be re-instated in Swaziland.”
“As a South African I fully identify with the people of Swaziland in their fight against the tyranny of the dictator king and his oppressive machinery,” Deon from South Africa wrote.
Swaziland is an absolute monarchy where two thirds of the population survive on less than a dollar a day whilst the king and his allies continue to spend lavishly on luxury items, prestige projects and on arms and army training to defend their privileges.