Free Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini

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Sign this petition to demand the unconditional release of the political prisoners, Mario Masuku, President of the People’s United Democratic Movement, and Maxwell Dlamini, Secretary General of the Swaziland Youth Congress.

Your mail will be sent to the Office of King Mswati III and the Office of the Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini

Background: The hunt down of the Swazi democratic opposition: Charged with terrorism for shouting “viva PUDEMO”

Thanks for your support: Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – Southern Africa; The Red Green Alliance - Denmark; Action for Southern Africa – United Kingdom: Afrika Kontakt – Denmark: Swaziland United Democratic Font - Swaziland

Your Excellencies King Mswati III and Prime Minister  Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini,

I am writing to you to protest against the arrest and trial of Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini. I ask you to drop the charges against them and unconditionally release them from the Zakhele Remand Centre.

Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini were arrested on May Day 2014 after having given speeches where they allegedly shouted “viva PUDEMO” and criticized Swaziland’s Tinkhundla system.

They are charged under section 4 and 11 of the Suppression of Terrorism Act, an act that Amnesty International has called “inherently repressive” and claims “continues to use sweeping provisions to detain and charge political activists”.

The state prosecution is claiming that the alleged offending utterances are “very serious” and “threatening to the leadership of the country”. This is surprising and somewhat ironic, given that Prime Minister Barnabas Sibusiso Dlamini has recently threatened to strangle two union leaders who had attended the African Summit in Washington DC, and in 2010 had threatened to torture dissidents by sipakatane, a method of torturing victims under their feet.

As such statements from a leader can be seen as a license to manhandle all and any political prisoners in Swaziland, and as there has in fact been many examples of beatings and torture inside Swaziland’s prisons, including the torture by suffocation of Maxwell Dlamini, I urge you to immediately grant Mario Masuku and Maxwell Dlamini the bail that has hitherto been denied them, and until they are fully and unconditionally released, personally ensure that they are in no way harmed while in prison.

Sincerely,