According to information received by PSI, on the eve of the Global Day of Action for Swaziland planned for 7th September, police broke up a peaceful meeting of pro-democracy activists at the Tum’s George Hotel in Manzini before loading scores of them into police vans and taking them away to the Manzini Regional Police headquarters. Reports indicate that up to 50 people have been detained, including locals and representatives from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), who were in the country to lend their voices to the call for democracy and the protection of human rights.
All the detained workers were later released from police detention. However, all the detained visiting worker leaders from South Africa have been deported at night after hours of being held and interrogated at the Police Headquarters in Manzini. They were all driven in police cars to the border. Their mission of providing solidarity with the struggling masses of Swaziland has been derailed.
Another South African delegation of about 20 people from SAMWU was not allowed entry into Swaziland and they returned home.
PSI vigorously protests against this heavy-handed and unwarranted action, as well as the intolerable deportation and interdiction to enter the country. The Swazi authorities have once again violated the most basic democratic standards and shown Swaziland as a dictatorship.
PSI will pursue this matter with the relevant national and international bodies.
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