Mugabes modstandere chikaneres før folkeafstemning og valg i Zimbabwe

Ifølge det zimbabweanske civilsamfund, samt internationale NGO’er som blandt andet Amnesty International og Freedom House, stiger volden op til landets folkeafstemning i marts og parlamentsvalg senere på året.

Der var en udbredt grad af vold før og under det seneste valg i 2008, begået af Mugabes støtter herunder hæren, hvor blandt andet Amnesty International dokumenterede tusindevis af tilfælde af vold, drab, tortur og forsvindinger imod oppositionstilhængere, og Freedom House rapporterede at valgene til præsidentembedet og landets parlament var alt andet end frie og fair. Read more of this post

Optimistic Swazi Finance Minister’s budget speech is symptomatic treatment

“It is a bold budget that will boost growth and support the vulnerable … the financial system in Swaziland is generally sound … We remain cautiously optimistic,” Swaziland’s Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole said in his budget speech on Friday.

Others have less reason for optimism. “Swaziland is tied with Somalia as having the worst performing economy in Africa and there is nothing on the horizon to improve the situation,” a Swazi investment counsellor told Business Report in January. Swaziland’s inflation rate, for instance, is worse than Zimbabwe’s.

“We have witnessed consequential events as we went through the tough fiscal or economic crisis, Read more of this post

Africa Contact condemns Morocco’s punishment of human rights activists

Press release: Africa Contact strongly condemns the harsh and unjust sentences given February 17th,  by a Moroccan military court to 24 Saharawis – Western Sahara’s indigenous population, just for demanding the right to live in their own country without Moroccan occupation and discrimination.

One of the accused, Chaikh Banga, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison, said during the trial: “If my love for my country is considered an offense let the world witness that I am a gangster.” Read more of this post

Swazi PM misleads on education standards

”Prime Minister Dr Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini says the outstanding performance by the Swazi team in the World Schools Debate Championships (WSDC) shows that the country’s education standard ranks high in the world,” the Swazi government writes on its official website.

The WSDC is an annual debating tournament for high school-level teams representing different English-speaking countries. Swaziland finished runners up to Australia this year in what was the “biggest upset in the world debate circles” according to Waterford Kamhlaba United World College, the college that the Swazi debating team attend.

According to Waterford Kamhlaba United World College, “Swaziland debating can continue to grow to new heights and be able to continue to inspire other people, especially those in the rural parts of Swaziland, to join debating.” Read more of this post

Director of Education in Swaziland praises fraudulent claims

Director of Education in Swaziland, Sibongile Dlamini, warned readers of the Times of Swaziland on Friday that writers “need to be careful of plagiarism and fraudulent publication.” She then went on to claim, without any apparent hint of irony, that she was pleased to read an article in the Times of Swaziland praising the country’s education system as one of the best in the world. “It was surprising because over the years, we have had people criticising the education system, saying it was deteriorating.”

Swaziland is ranked 140th in the world according to the UNDP HDI Education Index and according to a Working Paper from the World Bank called The Education System in Swaziland, “key weaknesses pertain to low access uneven and inequitable quality, acute inequalities, resource inefficiency, poor relevance and weak strategic direction and delivery capacity.” Read more of this post

PUDEMO bliver medlem af Socialistisk Internationale

pudemoPeople’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Swazilands største oppositionsparti, blev i februar medlem af Socialistisk Internationale (SI) efter at have deltaget i SIs forårskonference i Portugal. Socialistisk Internationale har 162 medlemmer fra hele verden, herunder de danske Socialdemokrater.

“Dette er en vigtig milepæl i vores kamp for et demokratisk Swaziland,” skrev PUDEMO i en pressemeddelelse onsdag. ”Vores optagelse i denne revolutionære familie giver befolkningen i Swaziland håb for, at de ikke er alene i kampen for et demokratisk Swaziland”. Read more of this post

Swazi youth congress demands release of political prisoners

The Swaziland Youth Congress is to launch a campaign for the unconditional release of its President, Bheki Dlamini and other political prisoners on February 16. Bheki Dlamini is charged under the Swaziland Terrorism Act with planting petrol bombs in police officers and MP’s houses, a charge that he, SWAYOCO and the democratic movement in Swaziland deny. He has been in jail since June 2010.

“We remain convinced that these comrades are innocent, if anything they are guilty of demanding sustainable jobs for the youth, education for all and the unbanning of political parties. Their resistance and refusal to betray the people in the face of continued harassment, intimidation, isolation and incarceration makes us to fight with more vigor and renewed energy for their release,” SWAYOCO said in a National Excecutive meeting statement released Wednesday. Read more of this post

Prayer for ”people’s government” in Swaziland

On February 16, The Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) and the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) are to hold a national prayer “for a people’s government.” The prayer is to be held at Bosco Skills Centre in Manzini at 9 am.

The prayer coincides with the recent launch SUDF’s and SDC’s campaign for a people’s government and the call of for a boycott of the undemocratic elections in Swaziland later in the year.

Using the medium of a national prayer is also a call to action along religious lines. Read more of this post

Retssagen imod menneskerettighedsaktivister fra Vestsahara ”ulovlig” og ”uretfærdig”

”Retssagen er ulovlig og uretfærdig, eftersom den vedrører aktivister der bor i det af Marokko besatte Vestsahara”, udtalte det spanske medlem af Europarlamentet, Willy Meyer, i går ifølge Algeria Press Service.

Willy Meyer er, som en af flere Europarlamentarikere, international observatør i den militære domstol imod de 23 menneskerettighedsaktivister fra Vestsahara. Han opfordrede desuden Marokko til at løslade de 23 anklagede, samt at Marokko uden tøven gennemførte den folkeafstemning om Vestsaharas tilhørsforhold som FN har krævet i årtier. Read more of this post

Saharawis face torture and unfair trials in Moroccan justice system

“[Moroccan] Courts deprived defendants in political cases of the right to fair trials and in a number of cases ignored their requests for medical examinations following their allegations of torture and convicted defendants based on apparently coerced confessions,” Human Rights Watch wrote in their 2013 World Report that was released on Friday.

In the report, Human Rights Watch also stated that there were “credible reports” of police beatings and electric shocks in Moroccan prisons, that there were no effective safeguards against such torture, and that the perpetrators acted with impunity.

One recent example of such Moroccan mistreatment of its prisoners is the 24 Saharawi political prisoners Read more of this post