Africa Contact volunteer harassed by Swazi police
April 13, 2010 1 Comment
Africa Contact volunteer Morten Koefoed, who is in Swaziland to monitor and document the situation in Swaziland and liaise with Africa Contact’s partners in the country, was yesterday detained and questioned by Swazi police for four whole hours. During the questioning, which was conducted by several officers, he was accused of all manner of things, such as being a terrorist. Morten had been on his way to attending a meeting with members of the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, commemorating the anniversary of the ban of political parties in Swaziland on April 12. He had not broken any law or misbehaved in any way, and was consequently released by the police without charge, proving that it was simply an act of intimidation on behalf of Swazi police. The police confiscated his laptop, however, and an attorney is currently in the process of trying to retrieve it. Morten Koefoed was composed when Africa Contact spoke to him yesterday, albeit naturally shocked by the incident.
Unfortunately, this was not an isolated incident as police intimidation is widespread in Swaziland. Africa Contact staff and volunteers have been followed, questioned, and harassed by police on several other occasions, and Africa Contacts partners in Swaziland, the Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice and the Swaziland United Democratic Front, are regularly harassed, manhandled and on occasion even imprisoned or worse, simply for peacefully advocating and campaigning for the democratisation of Swaziland.
Read more about this at:
or see a short film about the Swaziland United Democratic Front here: