Danmark er en del af løsningen for besat Vestsahara, siger MR-forkæmper

Der er fornyet håb for at Vestsahara-konflikten kan ende fredeligt, sagde menneskerettighedsforkæmper Ali Salem Tamek onsdag [24. april] under et besøg i Danmark, hvor han var inviteret af solidaritetsorganisationen Afrika Kontakt. ”Men det kræver handling fra lande som Danmark”.

Ali Salem Tamek er vicepræsident i Collective of Sahrawi Human Rights Defenders (CODESA). Han har været fængslet fem gange af kolonimagten Marokko (der besatte Vestsahara i 1975), har sultestrejket i fængslet 29 gange i protest imod forholdene i fængslet, og hans kone er blevet voldtaget af marokkanske sikkerhedsstyrker fordi hun ikke ville udspionere sin mand.

Tamek betragtedes desuden som en samvittighedsfange af Amnesty International, Read more of this post

Africa Contact partnership seminar 2013: Working together in and for the future

An important forward-looking issue debated at Africa Contact’s partnership seminar, held in Johannesburg in April 2013, was how the partnership between Africa Contact and its partners should evolve.

Mcebisi Kraai from Masifundise (South Africa) and Africa Contact’s Marie Villumsen gave presentations on Africa Contact’s partnership approach, advocacy and networking.

Kraai argued that shared ideals and networking were vital for a successful partnership Read more of this post

Konflikttomater dukker igen op i Coop-butikker

Netop som udviklingsorganisationen CARE har givet COOP en pris for deres indsats, dukker tomater fra den marokkanske producent Azura igen op i Fakta-butikker i Danmark. Der står godt nok ”Marokko” som oprindelsesland, men mange marokkanske produkter – herunder tomater fra Azura – stammer ifølge rapporten ”Label and Liability”, udgivet af Western Sahara Resource Watch (WSRW) og Svenske Emmaus, fra det besatte Vestsahara.

Coop lovede tilbage i 2009, at man ikke ville sælge flere konflikttomater og at Azura havde forsikret dem om at ingen af deres tomater var fra de besatte områder. Read more of this post

Maxwell arrested again

According to a source within the democratic movement, Secretary General of SWAYOCO Maxwell Dlamini and Secretary for International Affairs Sonkhke Dube were arrested this morning. “They have been arrested and are in the custody of the Royal Police. The charges are not clear. Both of them were arrested this morning,” the source says.

According to PUDEMO, “about 23 Police officers arrested SWAYOCO Secretary for International, Comrade Sonkhe Dube. He was arrested at Matsanjeni. This Government is in a serious mission to silence and send more threats to the entire glorious movement.”

Last time Maxwell Dlamini was arrested he was tortured by Swazi police and put on trial for possession of explosives, a case that has been postponed several times. Africa Contact led a campaign for his release that saw his release on bail. Read more of this post

Swaziland’s constitution guarantees freedom of speech

“Swaziland’s constitution guarantees the right to free speech,” senior civil servant Mads Mayerhofer from the Danish Minsitry of Foreign Affairs replied to a letter to Danish MP Christian Juel from the Red-Green Alliance.

The letter from Christian Juel to Mads Mayerhofer concerned the recent arrest and charge of sedition of Swazi trade unionist and political activist, Wander Mkhonta, for the possession of 5000 political pamphlets – acts by the Swazi authorities that are evidently a breach of any meaningful interpretation of the concept of free speech. Read more of this post

People from around the world want to Free Wander

Since the campaign to Free Wander Mkhonta started on April 16, hundreds of people from around the world have petitioned Swaziland’s government to free him.

Trade unionist and pro-democracy activist Wander Mkhonta was detained by Swazi police on Friday April 12 and later charged with sedition for being in possession of 5000 political pamphlets.

Nearly 400 people from Scandinavia and the rest of Europe, neighbouring South Africa and Africa in general, and as far away as the USA and Australia, have petitioned for his release in the first couple of days of the campaign. Many have left messages of support. Read more of this post

Bladredaktør i Swaziland idømt to års fængsel for kritik af retssystemet

Redaktøren for det lille enevældige kongedømme Swaziland’s eneste systemkritiske blad, The Nation, blev onsdag dømt til at betale over 100.000 kroner inden for tre dage. Ellers står han til to års fængsel.

Redaktøren, Bheki Makhubu, havde i to artikler kritiseret Swazilands retssystem, herunder beskyldt Swazilands højesteret for ikke at være uafhængig.

Denne uhørt hårde dom er endnu et bevis for at den grundlovssikrede ytringsfrihed, intet er værd i Swaziland. Read more of this post

Swazi regime detain PUDEMO member for handling pamphlets

Wonder MkhonzaWander Mkhonta, National Organising Secretary of the banned Swazi political party the People’s United Democratic Movement and Secretary General of the Swaziland Processing Allied Workers Union was detained on Friday April 12, allegedly for being in possession of 5000 PUDEMO pamphlets.

The democratic movement in Swaziland was marking the 40th anniversary of the state of emergency and banning of all political parties in 1973 by King Sobhuza II in 1973 when Mkhonza was detained by police at Lavumisa, a small town near the South African border.

According to PUDEMO, Wander Mkhonza is currently under police detention in Nhlangano Read more of this post

Swazi civil society warns diplomats of government clamp down

During meetings with diplomats from the embassies of several Western countries, held in Pretoria last week, representatives from Swaziland’s civil society warned that Swaziland’s government was actively trying to obstruct their work and shut them down.

Representatives from Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF), Foundation for Socio-Economic Justice, Swaziland National Union of Students, Swaziland Ex-Mineworkers Association and Rural Women’s Assembly told diplomats from Denmark, England, Sweden, Japan, Russia, Norway, South Africa, the USA, SADC and the EU that they are deeply worried that the Swazi authorities are trying to make a case against FSEJ for supporting terrorism. Read more of this post

Skandinaviske organisationer og politikere kræver at FN sikrer MR i Vestsahara

Danske og nordiske organisationer og politikere har i dag sendt et brev til præsidenten for FN’s Sikkerhedsråd, Eugene-Richard Gasana fra Rwanda. Brevet kræver at FN, gennem sin fredsbevarende mission Minurso, sikrer befolkningen i det af Marokko besatte Vestsaharas rettigheder.

Blandt de danske underskrivere er FN-forbundet, PUGAD, Genvej til Udvikling, Afrika Kontakt, adskillige nordiske organisationer, og en dansk højesteretsdommer. 9 svenske parlamentarikere fra 4 forskellige partier og 10 Europaparlamentarikere fra fire af parlamentets politiske grupperinger har desuden også skrevet under. Read more of this post