Concern Over Increasing Infringements on Freedom of Assembly in Swaziland

The United States government is deeply concerned about increasing infringements on freedom of assembly, as evidenced by the recent actions taken by Swazi security forces to prevent peaceful citizens from gathering for a prayer meeting on Saturday, April 14 in Manzini, as well reports of those same forces preventing people from gathering in groups of more than two people in Manzini and Mbabane on April 11th and 12th.  The United States government is further concerned about the apparent breech of procedure regarding the de-registration of TUCOSWA in the days preceding planned labor actions.

While every government has the right to take appropriate action to maintain peace and security, the government also has an obligation to protect the rights of citizens.  We urge the Swazi government to take the necessary steps to ensure the promotion and protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Swazi citizens as outlined in the Swazi constitution, including “freedom of conscience, of expression, of peaceful assembly and association and of movement.”


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