Urgent Action: TWO MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT DETAINED (Eswatini: UA 113.21)

November 10, 2021

On July 25, 2021, Members of Eswatini Parliament Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube were detained amid a wave of pro-democracy protests and charged under the Suppression of Terrorism Act as well as other trumped-up charges. They have been in arbitrary detention at Mbabane police station ever since. Amnesty International calls on Eswatini authorities to release the two MPs and drop all charges against them.

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TAKE ACTION: 

  1. Please take action as-soon-as possible. This Urgent Action expires on January 5, 2022.
  2. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
  3. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 113.21. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Prime Minister H.E Cleopas Dlamini
Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini
P.O Box A33. Swazi Plaza H101
Mbabane; The Kingdom of Eswatini
Fax: +268 2404 4073
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador H.E. Njabuliso Gwebu
Embassy of the Kingdom of Eswatini
1712 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: (202) 234-5002 I Fax: (202) 234 8254
Email: [email protected]

SAMPLE LETTER

Dear H.E Cleopas Dlamini,

I am writing to express my deep concerns stemming from the ongoing unrest in the Kingdom of Eswatini. Amid a wave of pro-democracy protests, two members of your parliament, Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza of Ngwempisa constituency and Mthandeni Dube of Hosea constituency, were arrested on July 25, 2021, under the draconian Suppression of Terrorism Act and other trumped-up charges. Their trial began on October 20, 2021.

The two MPs’ arrests came amid a wave of protests sparked in June 2021 calling for political reform following the mysterious death of 25-year-old law student, Thabani Nkomonye, who allegedly died at the hands of the police in early May 2021. Since their arrest in July, peaceful protests and demonstrations have emerged nationwide calling for their release and an end to the use of excessive force against peaceful protestors. Following a High Court Judge’s refusal to grant MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and MP Mthandeni Dube bail on September 14, 2021, there has been an even further escalation resulting in arbitrary arrests of peaceful protestors, loss of life, allegations of torture and other ill treatment.

Not only are certain provisions in the Suppression of Terrorism Act of 2008 threatening to human rights and inherently repressive – they also breach Eswatini’s obligations under international and regional human rights law and the Constitution of Eswatini. This is directly in violation of the rights of freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly. Activism, be it political or otherwise, should be possible in Eswatini without fear of reprisal. Despite political differences, respect for human rights law should be adhered to.

In light of the above, I urge you to immediately release MP Mduduzi Bacede Mabuza and MP Mthandeni Dube, and all others arbitrarily detained for exercising their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, and drop all charges against them. I also urge you to repeal or amend repressive laws such as the Suppression of Terrorism Act, the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act and the Public Order Act.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES