SWAZILAND: PETITION FOR RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
PETITION FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
As members of the North Eastern Workshop on Southern Africa (NEWSA) and scholars of African Studies, we are deeply distressed by ongoing injustices in Swaziland. These include the current crisis engulfing the Swazi judiciary, the conditions of political prisoners such as PUDEMO President Mario Masuku, Human Rights Lawyer Thulani Maseko, SWAYOCO Secretary General Maxwell Dlamini, Nation Magazine Editor Bheki Makhubu, MK and ANC cadre Amos Mbedzi and PUDEMO stalwart Zonke Dlamini, as well as the intensified persecution of political and civil society activists and trade unions. We express particular concern about the worsening health conditions of PUDEMO President Mario Masuku, who was recently hospitalized in relation to his poor prison conditions. Masuku’s alleged crime is calling for that which is already enjoyed in many parts of the world: the right for the people to elect a government of their choosing in a free and democratic environment.
We call for the release of all political prisoners in Swaziland and express our support for several movements campaigning for democracy in Swaziland, including the People’s United Democratic Movement, the Swaziland Youth Congress, the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland, South Africa Lawyers for Human Rights, Southern Africa Litigation Centre’s, and the Congress of South African Trade Union’s Global Coalition for the Release of Swazi Political and Civil Rights Prisoners.
May 19, 2015