Charged with terrorism for shouting “viva PUDEMO”

Mario Masuku (i midten) under et af retsmøderneSwazi activists Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini face terrorism charges and could serve 15 years in prison for expressing support for pro-democracy party the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO).

“If we have to go inside the prisons and be charged, I am the first one”. This was the prophetic statement of the Mario Masuku, the President of PUDEMO, on May Day in the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland.

Mario Masuku and youth leader Maxwell Dlamini, Mario Masuku were arrested shortly after having given speeches to approximately 7,000 people at the 2014 May Day event in Swaziland’s main commercial city, Manzini. Read more of this post

Anklaget for terrorisme for slagord 1. maj

Mario Masuku (i midten) under et af retsmøderneTo politiske aktivister fra det lille enevældige monarki Swaziland er anklaget for terrorismevirksomhed, fordi de udtrykte støtte for deres eget parti. De risikerer 15 år i fængsel.

Mario Masuku og Maxwell Dlamini er henholdsvis præsident og ungdomsleder i People’s United Democratic Front (PUDEMO), et forbudt parti eller bevægelse der kæmper for demokrati. De er anklaget under Swazilands Suppression of Terrorism Act, en lov der definerer terrorisme som enhver handling der ”er til fare for den nationale sikkerhed”. Read more of this post

Danish party supports Mario and Maxwell

MaxwellDanish democratic socialist party, the Red-Green Alliance, yesterday sent a statement of support for two imprisoned democracy advocates to Swaziland’s government.

President of the pro-democracy party, the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Mario Masuku, and youth leader Maxwell were arrested on May Day, and subsequently charged with sedition – Masuku for expressing support for his own organization in a speech, Dlamini for allegedly shouting “viva PUDEMO”. They have been in prison since then, as they were denied bail. Read more of this post

Politiske ledere arresteret til 1. maj i Swaziland

Mario MaydaySom det efterhånden er blevet kutyme, er præsidenten for det forbudte parti PUDEMO blevet arresteret sammen med flere andre politiske ledere 1. maj i Swaziland.

Mario Masuku havde netop holdt en tale til medlemmer af den faglige hovedorganisation TUCOSWA, skriver vicegeneralsekretæren for PUDEMO Alex Langwenya i en mail til Afrika Kontakt. Tusinder af Swazier havde hørt ham tale ved et massemøde i landets største by Manzini.

Ifølge generalsekretæren for Swaziland’s studenterbevægelse, SNUS, blev studenterleder og generalsekretæren for PUDEMO’s ungdomsliga, SWAYOCO, ligeledes arresteret, angiveligt for at have sunget en sang med ordene ”Mswati må ud” om landets enevældige konge. Han skulle have været oppe til eksamen på universitetet i dag. Read more of this post

Maxwell gets student activist award

Swazi activist and student leader, Maxwell Dlamini, has been given the All-Africa Students’ Union’s 2013 Student Activist Award, for ”the role he has played in Swazi and African students’ movements.”

”The Union truly appreciates your many years of dedication and commitment to promoting students welfare and development. You truly epitomize the spirit of this award,” the All-Africa Students’ Union wrote in the awards letter sent to Maxwell.

”I feel humbled and honoured to receive such a prestigious award in recognition of our many years of dedication and commitment to promoting student’s welfare and development”, Maxwell Dlamini said in a statement. Read more of this post

Court case against Swazi activists is a farce

The court case of two political activists in the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland is getting increasingly farcical. Secretary General of youth league SWAYOCO, Maxwell Dlamini, and political activist Musa Ngubeni were arrested in 2011 on charges of contravening Swaziland’s Explosives Act.

One example of the farcical nature of the case is the alleged “evidence” of the explosives. First, one of the prosecution witnesses, whose testimony had contradicted that of two other witnesses, claimed that the explosives were too dangerous to bring to court. Then suddenly the explosives had apparently exploded after a South African bomb expert had allegedly tried to assemble it. Read more of this post

Swaziland is deliberately traumatizing political activists

Swaziland’s absolute monarchy has a record of harassing, torturing and arbitrarily detaining political activists, and then either leaving them to rot in prison while waiting for the completion of seemingly endless court cases, or releasing them on bail, after which they must endure arduous bail conditions for years on end.

This harassment is both a way of trying to physically, mentally and financially break the individual activist, and a way to use him or her as an example to other potential activists. “Look what we do to anyone who is bold enough to challenge our power”.

And this harassment can have a profound effect. “Detention without trial  [or the endless detentions awaiting trial] is not only a punitive act of physical and mental torture of a few patriotic individuals, but it is also a calculated act of psychological terror against the struggling millions. It is a terrorist programme for the psychological siege of the whole nation,” Kenyan writer, Ngugi Wa Thiongo’o, wrote from his prison cell. Read more of this post

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