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By Peter Kenworthy, Africa Contact's Swaziland group
According to a press release from the Swaziland Democracy Campaign, paramilitary police are detaining people right, left and centre in and around Swaziland’s largest town, Manzini, where today’s mass demonstrations for democracy, inspired by events in North Africa, are to take place.
”The paramilitary police in full riot gear are chanting and marching along the streets of Manzini. Passing through Manzini’s Freedom Square, where the march is supposed to start from this morning. All buses coming from Big Bend have all been detained at the Police Station there and irrespective of who the passengers are. Four buses and six mini-buses from Simunye and Mhlume have also been detained. Buses from Mananga, ferrying teachers to the march have been detained.
As we write, over fifty marchers/protests have been arrested and detained and it is not known where they have been taken to. The security forces are literally grabbing everyone they can lay their hands on from the streets and detaining them. The latest we are getting is that at Moneni, as you enter Manzini from the Eastern part of Swaziland, comrades are being forcefully ejected from all vehicles, deprived of their cell phones and loaded into police vehicles to unknown destinations,” the press statement said.