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