Labour delegation condemns Swaziland
A delegation from the International Trade Union Confederation (Ituc) has concluded an inspection tour of Swaziland with a condemnation of the government for repressing workers’ rights and enabling police to crack down on pro-democracy activists.
The criticism should dim hopes by the government that the US will readmit the country into the African Growth and Opportunities Act (Agoa) trade scheme.
“Repressive legislation used by police against union activities still has not been addressed by parliament, even as the government continues to imprison human rights activists for exercising their right to freedom of speech,” said a report by the US American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organisations (AFL/CIO), which was part of the Ituc delegation.
Jailed Swazi activists in legal limbo
Around the anniversary of their arrest on May 1 this year, Swazi political prisoners Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini were moved to the Matsapha Correctional Facility in Swaziland, where mainly convicted prisoners are held, although they are awaiting trial and have not been convicted of a crime.
They were denied access to reading materials and kept in solitary confinement overnight, which meant they had no access to ablution facilities or water. Their lawyers say their food was highly restricted and that the two were not allowed to exercise.