Mario Masuku arrested in Swaziland

PUDEMO-leader, Mario Masuku, was arrested and charged with terrorism after having mentioned the name of PUDEMO during a speech at Sipho Jele’s funeral yesterday, May 22.

As I left, we found a roadblock along the way and they just picked me up from the vehicle and I was shoved into the back of the police van and taken to Malkerns police station … I was then charged under the Suppression of Terrorism Act because I mentioned the name of the People’s United Democratic Movement, Pudemo, and according to the law that was an offense”, Masuku told Agence France-Press.

Masuku was released two hours later, having been interrogated by police and asked to write a statement, which he refused. Police then told him he would have to appear in court next week. The police have so far declined to comment on Masuku’s arrest.

Masuku’s arrest has been widely condemned as being yet another example of the increasing disregard for Human Rights in Swaziland, especially through the Suppression of Terrorism Act, as well as an example of the increasing desperation that the regime seems to feel at the growing opposition to its undemocratic rule.

This points to the problem that we are facing in Swaziland. There is a strong violation of the people’s rights in Swaziland,” Masuku said.

Masuku has been arrested on several other occasions by the Swazi police, spending almost a year in jail awaiting trial in 2009, after which he was acquitted by the Swazi High Court.

Links:

Swazi leader tells of arrest for ‘terror’ after speech at funeral, Cape Times, 24 May 2010

Swazi opposition leader charged, Africa Contact, 23 May 2010

AFP on Swazi leader Masuku arrest, Swazi Media Commentary, 23 May 2010

PUDEMO on Swazi leader’s arrest, Swaziland Commentary, 23 May 2010

Mario Masuku at Wikipedia

Autobiography of Mario Masuku

Swazi student leader Pius Vilakati still missing, feared killed by police, Stiff Kitten’s blog, 19 May 2010

Swazi police disrupt funeral of Sipho Jele, Stiff Kitten’s Blog, 17 May 2010

Swazi regime under pressure in the case of Sipho Jele, Stiff Kitten’s Blog, 11 May 2010

Pudemo-member murdered by Swazi police, Stiff Kitten’s Blog, 5 May 2010

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