Police in Swaziland attacked nurses with tasers during a peaceful demonstration against pay in the kingdom’s capital.
The attack was unprovoked, according to the Times of Swaziland newspaper.
It came days after police shot live ammunition into a crowd of schoolteachers who were also demonstrating about salaries.
It happened on Wednesday (29 August 2018) when hundreds of trade unionists led by the Swaziland Democratic Nurses Union (SWADNU) marched through Mbabane. They were going to the Ministries of Public Service and Health to deliver petitions.
The Times reported ‘tensions reached beyond boiling point’ when there was a dispute between police and union leaders about the route they were allowed to follow.
It said some nurses ‘claimed that police manhandled and used tasers on them during their march to the two ministries’.
One nurse identified a police officer who she said had attacked her with a taser. The attack was reported to Mbabane Police Deputy Station Commander Amos Dlamini.
A taser is a weapon that gives someone an electric shock and makes them unable to move for a short time.
Public service workers are in dispute with the government of Swaziland, recently renamed Eswatini by the kingdom’s absolute monarch King Mswati III. They have been offered zero percent increase in their annual cost of living allowances.
On Friday teachers were attacked by police who fired live ammunition at them. One man was wounded.
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