TO: All Media
ATT: News Editors, Human Rights Reporters
For immediate release
Thursday, 08 July 2021
The Foundation for Human Rights (FHR) condemns the killing of protestors in Eswatini as gross human rights violations. At least 60 people protesting against the Eswatini government’s lack of respect for human rights have been allegedly killed by the Eswatini government. The protests were sparked by the killing of Thabani Nkomonye, a law student at the University of Swaziland, allegedly murdered by police. Protesters are demanding democratic reforms and accuse the Eswatini King of repression.
The FHR notes with concern the Eswatini government’s continual refuse to recognise the Eswatini Constitutions’ provision on human rights, and that government’s use of security forces and the courts to crush valid calls for democracy, justice and accountability. Although Eswatini amended the 2008 Suppression of Terrorism Act in 2017 and improved provisions for public gatherings in the 2017 Public Order Act, the rights to peaceful assembly, association and expression continue to be restricted.
In addition to 60 people alleged to have been killed by state security forces so far, and six others who participated in the protests are unaccounted for. At least 150 protesters have been hospitalized for injuries, including gunshot wounds sustained from live ammunition fired by the police.
Eswatini, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, has been ruled by King Mswati III since 1986. The country has been rocked by five days of violent protests triggered by the king’s decree banning petitions to the government calling for democratic reforms.
The FHR calls on the government of Eswatini to honour its own Constitution and international human rights commitments, and to recognize the basic human rights of its people.
Lindiwe Sibiya – 082 634 7154