Danish Development Minister worried about Swaziland

“I fully share your concern about the human rights situation in Swaziland,” Danish Minister for Development, Christian Friis Bach replied last Thursday to a letter from Danish NGO Africa Contact’s chairperson, Signe Borker Bjerre that conveyed the message of the Swazi democratic movement for tougher measures against the Swazi regime.

Friis Bach also maintained that Denmark is acting on this concern. “Even though Denmark is not officially represented in Swaziland, we make sure that our voice is heard in the European Union, through which we pursue an active foreign policy in relation to Swaziland.” Read more of this post

Help us end Africa’s last absolute monarchy

“The current situation in Swaziland now is that over the past 12-15 years, it has become worse than under colonialism. We have for a long time being fighting a very lone struggle as the international media have ignored our struggle and reported only stories about the king or about what a beautiful country Swaziland is,” Skhumbuzo Phakathi told Danish MP’s last week [20. June].

“With more support for our cause, nationally and internationally, we will be able to put pressure on the Swazi regime. But we need outside help as I am yet to see a struggle won only by the people and not with help from outside.” Read more of this post

Vil Udviklingsministerens bekymring for situationen i Swaziland føre til handling?

”Jeg deler fuldt ud din bekymring for menneskerettighedssituationen i Swaziland”, skrev Udviklingsminister Christian Friis Bach i går i et svar til Afrika Kontakts forkvinde, Signe Borker Bjerre.

Signe Borker Bjerre havde i april skrevet et brev til Udviklingsministeren og Udenrigsminister Villy Søvndal, hvor hun blandt andet opfordrede den danske regering til at reagere mere håndfast på regimet i Swazilands gentagende menneskerettighedsbrud og brutale undertrykkelse af fredelige protester imod det enevældige monarki i landet.

Denne opfordring var blandt andet givet på baggrund af regeringsgrundlaget, hvor regeringen skriver at ”Danmark skal kunne kritisere alle, der groft krænker menneskerettighederne eller overtræder konventioner” Read more of this post

Swazilands politi skyder på strejkende lærere

Ifølge NGO’en Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice (FSEJ), skød politiet igen i går gummikugler og tåregas på lærere i Swaziland der strejkede og demonstrerede for en 4,5% lønstigning. Dette krav skal ses i lyset af at to tredjedele af Swazilands befolkning lever for under en dollar om dagen, mange af disse på fødevarehjælp, og at regeringens svar på den i høj grad selvforskyldte finansielle krise i landet, har været at skære ned på blandt andet sundhedssystemet og uddannelsessystemet. Read more of this post

Danish ship sails from occupied Western Sahara – with illegal cargo?

Is the Danish vessel Marianne Danica illegally shipping phosphates from the occupied territories in Western Sahara?

Marianne Danica was spotted leaving the harbour in El Aaiun (Laayoune) in Western Sahara on June 6, according to Western Sahara Resource Watch. This has been confirmed by the website Marinetraffic.com, an academic community-based project that collects and presents naval data. According to the shipping company that owns the vessel, Danish company Folmer & Co., the ship will arrive at its next destination, Kaliningrad, on June 20. Read more of this post

Danish Development Minister ”deeply worried” about Zimbabwe

“We are following developments in Zimbabwe very closely,” Danish Minister for Development Cooperation, Christian Friis Bach, said in a reply to Danish NGO Africa Contact. “I am deeply worried about the human rights situation in Zimbabwe with its politically motivated violence and intimidation.  It is vital that the planned referendum on a new constitution happens before a general election is called. Together with well-planned democratic processes, this will lessen the risk of a repeat of the events of 2008.” Read more of this post

Homophobia in Africa is ”escalating”

“The abuse is escalating. Recent cases of criminalization of same-sex relationships have worsened a situation already characterized by harassment, humiliation, extortion, arbitrary arrests, judicial violence, imprisonment, torture, hate crimes and honour killings on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity all over Africa,” says a new report by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA).

“Over the past ten years, the focus on equal rights, law reforms, community cohesion, diversity, families and migrations for lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex (LGBTI) Africans has gone from bad to worse.” Read more of this post