Maxwell Dlamini granted bail – at a massive 50 000 Rand

After having been denied bail on several occasions previously since they were detained, allegedly tortured, and charged of possession of explosives in April 2011, Swazi student leader, Maxwell Dlamini and activist Musa Ngubeni have finally been granted bail by Swaziland’s High Court judge Bheki Maphalala today (Tuesday).

Unfortunately for the pair, bail was set at 50 000 Rand (around 6 000 US$) per person – by far the highest bail ever in Swaziland, according to a correspondent from global news agency AFP who was present at the hearing. The judge also demanded that they surrender their passports before being granted bail and wants them to report to the Mbabane police station four times a week. Read more of this post

Biko’s legacy lives on in Swaziland’s civil society

Looking at South Africa today, it is clear that the approach of the ANC has not ensured socio-economic justice for the majority of South Africa’s blacks. Indeed, the rich-poor divide has broadened, and South Africa has become the most unequal country in the world.

The same can be said of many other countries in sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. But as South Africa’s tiny neighbour, Swaziland, is finding out, the solution might lie in the past, so to speak, more than in a future that has failed the test of time. Read more of this post

Maxwell trial to finally begin?

Will the trial of Swazi student leader, Maxwell Dlamini, and his co-accused, Musa Ngubeni, finally be heard in court? The trial has been delayed since Dlamini and Ngubeni were detained in April, in connection with the biggest demonstrations for democracy and socio-economic justice in Swaziland in many years – the so-called “April 12 Uprising.”

They were accused of being in possession of explosives, a charge that people within Swaziland’s democratic movement call preposterous, and allegedly tortured and forced to sign a confession. According to Vincent Ncongwane, Secretary General of the Swaziland Federation of Labour, the arrests and charges are an attempt to “cover up for the heavy-handedness the police applied against innocent citizens” during the April 12 uprising. Read more of this post

Hvor er seksuelle minoriteters rettigheder henne i udviklingsdebatten?

”Vi er oppe imod en verden, der er blind overfor at man kan være andet end heteroseksuel”, siger Søren Larsen. Han er retspolitisk talsperson for Projektrådgivningen og Landsforeningen for Bøsser, Lesbiske, Biseksuelle, og Transpersoner i Danmark (LGBT Danmark), og er i gang med at holde et oplæg på et arrangement den 30/11 i København, der er arrangeret af Projektrådgivningen og  LGBT Danmark, og har titlen ”Homoseksualitet, rettigheder og udvikling”.

Ifølge LGBT Danmark er homoseksuelle, biseksuelle, og transseksuelle i Syd nemlig ”ikke blot forfulgt og diskrimineret, men også en særlig sårbar og svagt stillet gruppe med særlig risiko for at ende i fattigdom, ufrivillig prostitution eller selvmord”.

Men i den danske udviklingsverden, hvor man ellers siger at man lægger vægt på at hjælpe de svageste grupper og på at fremme menneskerettighederne for de allersvageste, beskæftiger man sig ikke specifikt med LGBT-gruppens rettigheder i Syd. Read more of this post

Petitioners from around the world call for the release of Maxwell Dlamini

The Free Maxwell Dlamini Campaign has started a petition for the release of Swazi student leader and political prisoner, Maxwell Dlamini. Dlamini was detained and charged with possession of explosives before the April 12 Uprising in Swaziland, was allegedly tortured and forced to sign a confession, and has been awaiting trial ever since.

People from around the world have been eager to sign the petition – Canada, Western Sahara, Colombia, Chile, France, Sri Lanka, Iceland, USA, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Thailand, Philippines, Denmark, India. Read more of this post