Saharawi journalist assaulted by Moroccan police

The coordinator of Saharawi video activist group Equipe Media was assaulted, injured and interrogated by Moroccan police in the Moroccan colony of Western Sahara.

Mohamed Mayara, media activist and co-founder and coordinator of Equipe Media that documents human rights violations in Africa’s last colony Western Sahara, was physically assaulted and injured his cheek and other parts of his body at El Aaiun airport in the occupied territories of Western Sahara on January 13. Read more of this post

Human rights are celebrated with restraint in Western Sahara

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly 70 years ago. Human rights have been important to many people over the years, but are also under pressure in many places. Not least in Africa’s last colony, Western Sahara.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights gave all people the right to seek happiness as equals, and the right to fight for freedom and peace against oppressive systems. Read more of this post

Exiled news editor will return to Swaziland

Editor Zweli Martin Dlamini is set to return to the tiny absolute monarchy of Swaziland. He had fled to neighbouring South Africa in January after he had received death threats from a local businessman and his newspaper was shut down by the government.

“My decision to return to Swaziland has been influenced by minor changes in the political landscape and the fact that two of the powerful people who wanted to kill me are now dead – businessman Victor Gamedze [who was murdered at a petrol station in Mbabane in January] and late Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini” Read more of this post

Land is power in Swaziland

A new Amnesty International report focuses on forced evictions of poor farmers in Swaziland carried out by local police. Land and forced evictions are central to Swaziland’s undemocratic system, says an activist who grew up in Swaziland’s rural areas.

“Land is life”, a new Amnesty International report on forced evictions in Swaziland called “They don’t see us as people” declares. This is to be taken very literally in the small absolute monarchy, as “the majority of the population rely on substance farming” to feed themselves. Read more of this post

Swazi King’s henchmen threaten to kill editor

Swazi editor Zweli Martin Dlamini has fled to neighbouring South Africa after he received death threats. He had written a story about absolute monarch King Mswati III’s shady dealings in the telecommunications industry.

Last June, editor of independent business newspaper Swaziland Shopping Zweli Martin Dlamini wrote and published a story about new telecommunications company Swazi Mobile, owned by King Mswati III and run by local businessman Victor Gamedze. Read more of this post

International pressure to ensure fair re-trial for ‘unfairly convicted’ Saharawis

International presence and pressure is necessary to ensure a fair re-trial, set to continue on March 13, against the Gdeim Izik Group from Moroccan colony Western Sahara, who Amnesty International say were “unfairly convicted.”

In 2013, 21 members of the so-called Gdeim Izik Group were given sentences of between 20 years and life imprisonment in a Moroccan military court for allegedly belonging to a “criminal group” and for acts of “deadly violence” against Moroccan “public forces in the line of duty.” Read more of this post

Zonke needs help to appeal unfair 15-year sentence

zonkeWhere is the campaign and help for the appeal of Swazi activist Zonke Dlamini, who was tortured and sentenced to 15 years under repressive terror laws three years ago, asks his co-accused, Bheki Dlamini, who was released without charge?

Activist Zonke Dlamini was sentenced to 15 years in prison three years ago, on February 28. 2014, for allegedly petrol bombing the houses of two Swazi officials, an MP and a high-ranking police officer. Read more of this post

Swaziland can learn from The Gambia

bheki_blogAfter a coup and 22 years of authoritarian rule, The Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh conceded power in elections on December 1. Swaziland, another of Africa’s small authoritarian nations, can learn from The Gambia that there is strength in unity, says Swazi activist Bheki Dlamini.

Swaziland and The Gambia are two of Africa’s smallest nations, both less than 20.000 km2 and with populations below 2 million. Both got their independence from Great Britain in the sixties, and both are more or less engulfed by, and to a large degree dependent on, a much larger and more powerful neighbour. Read more of this post

Nye beviser på svigt i sydafrikansk vinindustri

bitre-druer-blogTom Heinemanns dokumentar, Bitre Druer – slaveri i vinmarken, har skabt overskrifter over hele verden. Lokalregeringen i Western Cape-provinsen har nu selv undersøgt forholdene på nogle af farmene, og kræver forbedrede arbejdsforhold for vinarbejderne.

Fem vinfarme i Robertson og Drakenstein-området er blevet bedt af Western Cape-regeringen om, inden for tres dage, at rette op på forhold, der er i strid med sydafrikansk lov. Hvis ikke dette sker, vil de kunne retsforfølges. Read more of this post

Denmark’s largest supermarket chain ditches Robertson Winery

screenhunter_4167-nov-04-15-54Denmark’s largest supermarket chain, Coop, stated Thursday that they have stopped selling wine from South African Robertson Winery in their Fakta-supermarkets across the border in neighbouring Germany.

Wine from Robertson Winery has also been removed from rivalling supermarket chain, Dagrofa, after the Danish documentary “Bitter Grapes” revealed salaries below the South African minimum wage and indecent working conditions at Robertson. Read more of this post