Swaziland Police have once again assaulted children who complained about conditions at their school.
This time police were armed with batons when they attacked pupils and detained about 100 of them in classrooms in Mbabane.
It happened after the students boycotted classes after they were denied the opportunity to take part in sporting activities by their school.
Local media reported about 100 Mbabane Central High School pupils were detained by police for hours for allegedly leading their colleagues into wildcat class boycott.
‘Some of the pupils were beaten by the police officers who did not even want to hear what the pupils were complaining about’, the Swazi Observer reported. The students ‘ran around the school whilst police chased after them dragging them back to class’.
The Times of Swaziland reported, ‘Police chased the pupils and assaulted them as they ordered them to go to class. The action forced the pupils to run helter-skelter, with most of them jumping through windows as they evaded the advancing police officers.’
The school said they suspended sporting activities because too many students were failing exams and needed to focus more on their studies.
Police in Swaziland often overreact when dealing with school students. In June 2013 police fired live bullets children boycotted classes in protest against alleged corruption at Mhubhe High School in Ngculwini. Gun shots were fired at the pupils after police drove them away from the school, but they tried to return.
In 2011, Police reportedly assaulted pupils of Mbukwane High School after the children took part in a demonstration. The Observer reported police went to the homes of the pupils, took them to the police station where they were interrogated ‘before being beaten up’.
One parent told the newspaper, ‘The police were moving from home to home in search of those children they thought were ringleaders. My son was among those who were taken to the police station. I had to take my child to hospital after the beating.’
In the same year, 12 schoolchildren at Kubongeni High School, accused of being leaders in a class boycott, were beaten up by police officers with batons, in their own school, in front of the school’s principal. The pupils were called individually into the school’s staffroom where the police officers and their principal were. Pupils said they were then assaulted with batons and fists.
Local media reported the school became suspicious that the pupils were about to organise another boycott, so the police were called.
POLICE SHOOT AS CHILDREN PROTEST
SWAZI POLICE ASSAULT SCHOOL KIDS
PUPIL LEADERS BEATEN BY POLICE
SWAZI COPS FIRE LIVE BULLETS AT KIDS
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