Swazi regime tries to crush peaceful uprising

The police in Swaziland continue to arrest, detain and generally try and scare people from joining the announced mass demonstrations in Swaziland today, in the latest African mass uprising against a dictatorship.

”All leaders of progressive forces have been arrested this morning and the President of PUDEMO [Swaziland’s biggest illegal opposition party, Mario Masuku] is under house arrest. Police have detained over 100 people around Manzini and they are loaded into police trucks,” according to Foundation of Socio-Economic Justice (FSEJ) Project Coordinator Dumezweni Dlaimini.

There have also been several reports of police mistreatment of the many detainees. ” Detainees are being mistreated and tortured,” reported a source from the Swaziland Solidarity Network, which makes pressure for their release increasingly urgent.

“There is still no word on the whereabouts of Maxwell Dlamini and the other democracy activists,” Thamsanca Tsabedze of FSEJ said half an hour ago, “including our administrator at the FSEJ offices Miss Sebenzile Nxumalo who was arrested this morning and detained at the regional police headquarters as she was coming to the office for her usual daily duties.”

“The city is relatively quiet with not much activity, save for a few paramilitary security forces that are parading the streets in full riot gear, rounding up and detaining almost everyone that walks the streets,” according to Thamsanca Tsabedze.

The police have blocked of the inaptly named ‘Freedom Square’ in Manzini, where the protests were to have taken of, and indiscriminately arresting anyone standing in groups.

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