A victim of circumstances

Mph blog“I am a victim of circumstances”, says activist Mphandlana ‘Victim’ Shongwe of the nickname he is known by because of the decades of state harassment he has endured in his homeland, Swaziland. “But what has kept me going is the desire to be free”.

“Victim” is the name that Mphandlana Shongwe – a founding member of Swaziland’s democratic movement, PUDEMO – is commonly known by in the small absolute monarchy of Swaziland. He was given his nickname, after reflecting on his life in Matsapha Central Prison, while awaiting trial for treason in 1990. Read more of this post

International youth organization calls for democracy in Swaziland

IUSY bhekiThe International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) passed a resolution at its 31st world congress that called for a process that would unban political parties, remove repressive legislation and introduce multi-party democracy in Swaziland.

The resolution, passed on Saturday, also called for an end to the systematic harassment, intimidation and incarceration of political activists and the unconditional release of political prisoners and return of exiles, as well as for the isolation of Swaziland until these demands are met. Read more of this post

The dialogue that disappeared

Swaziland's parliament protected by barbed wire 300pxIn September, there were high hopes in some parts of Swaziland’s civil society and democratic movement that a dialogue with the county’s absolute monarch King Mswati III was on the table. Not least because of pressure from the Commonwealth, the USA and the EU. Three months later no such meeting has taken place and that hope seems all but shattered.

The meeting was to have taken place between king Mswati III, who has ruled Swaziland almost single-handedly for 30 years, and the so-called G15 group, Read more of this post

Swaziland documentary nominated for international award

Bheki Dlamini SKB“Swaziland – Africa’s last monarchy”, a documentary film about activist Bheki Dlamini by award-winning Danish investigative journalist Tom Heinemann, has been nominated in the short film category at the Al-Jazeera International Film Festival.

The main character in the documentary, young activist Bheki Dlamini, says that he is pleased with the nomination as well as with the publicity that the film has given the struggle for democracy and social justice in his homeland of Swaziland. Read more of this post

Dansk dokumentarfilm nomineret til international filmpris

Bheki Dlamini SKBDen prisbelønnede danske journalist og dokumentarist Tom Heinemanns film, ”Swaziland – det sidste enevælde” om aktivisten Bheki Dlamini, er blevet nomineret til prisen som bedste kortfilm på Al-Jazeera International Film Festival, sammen med film fra blandt andet USA, Kina, Indien og Kenya.

”Swaziland – det sidste enevælde” blev vist på DR2 i august, som en del af serien ”De ukuelige”. Serien, som Tom Heinemann har lavet sammen med norske Erling Borgen, portrætterer menneskerettighedsforkæmpere fra forskellige dele af verden. Read more of this post

Vil tale demokrati med enevældig konge

Mario Masuku_Swaziland har været et enevældigt kongedømme i over fire årtier, efter at landet blev uafhængigt fra kolonimagten Storbritannien i 1968. Men nu bliver landets enevældige konge Mswati III presset af både landets demokratibevægelse, Commonwealth og EU til at diskutere demokratiske reformer.

”Kongen mener at vi prøver at ødelægge landet, men hvis og når vi får mulighed for at tale med ham, vil han få at vide hvad folket ønsker”, siger Mario Masuku, der er præsident for Swaziland største politiske parti, PUDEMO. Read more of this post

Absolute monarch in talks with banned political parties

Mario Masuku_smallSwaziland has been an absolute monarchy for decades, but absolute monarch King Mswati III is being pressed by both the country’s democratic movement, the Commonwealth and the EU to discuss democratic reforms.

“At the moment the king regards us as people who want to destroy the country, but once we have talked with him he will know what the people want”, says president of the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), Mario Masuku. Read more of this post


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