Maxwell out on bail … again

Swazi youth leader Maxwell Dlamini was given bail yesterday after a second lengthy detention and several delays in his bail hearing. Maxwell was arrested in April by no less than 23 police officers, charged with sedition and participating in an unlawful activity. His “crime” was to organize and participate in a campaign that advocates the boycott of Swaziland’s sham elections later in the year.

As is the case with other political prisoners, Maxwell has been ill treated by both the police and by prison officers whilst in custody. According to Maxwell, he has been beaten whilst in prison and in 2011, prior to his ongoing trial where he is charged with offences under the Explosives Act, he was tortured, as both Maxwell and Amnesty International’s 2012 Annual Report have stated.

According to Mcolisi Ngcamphalala from the Swaziland Youth Congress, where Maxwell is Secretary General, they are happy that Maxwell is out, as they believe the state has no case against him, but angry at the continuous imprisonment and harassing of  those who peacefully advocate democracy in Swaziland.

“News that the Secretary General of the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO) have been granted bail, is not only welcome but vindicating our long held conviction that there is no case against Maxwell,” says Ngcamphalala. “We condemn the state for having delayed the finalisation of the bail application thus frustrated Maxwell, academically, personally and morally. We also reiterate our call for the unconditional release of SWAYOCO president Bheki Dlamini and all political prisoners, languishing inside and those outside on bail, including comrade Maxwell.”

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