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Communist Party of Swaziland condemns imprisonment of Zonke Dlamini, calls for isolation of Mswati regime

D 13 mars 2014     H 05:32     A CPS     C 0 messages

The Communist Party of Swaziland (CPS) has condemned the Mswati regime in Swaziland for passing a 15-year jail sentence on pro-democracy activist Comrade Zonke Tradwell Dlamini, allegedly for terrorism offenses.

Dlamini was sentenced last week Friday 28 February 2014, following a show trial to uphold the draconian Suppression of Terrorism Act (STA) of 2008.

The STA categorises the People’s United Democratic Movement (PUDEMO), its youth wing the Swaziland Youth Congress (SWAYOCO), and other elements of the democracy movement as terrorist groups.

The CPS has urged human rights groups, international civil society, and governments monitoring the escalation of repression of pro-democracy activity in Swaziland to highlight the case of Zonke Dlamini, who is a member of PUDEMO and SWAYOCO.

“We are demanding the release of all political prisoners, detainees and those persecuted by the courts using the STA,” CPS general secretary Kenneth Kunene said today.

“The charges against Comrade Zonke were brought by a government intent on eliminating activism for democracy and basic democratic freedoms in Swaziland. The STA has no legitimacy in such a situation, and is merely a tool to perpetuate Mswati’s absolute power. The regime has imposed what amounts to a life sentence on Zonke Dlamini, sending a signal that it is clamping down further on pro-democracy activists.”

The CPS has been running the “Break the Chains Campaign” to spotlight and resist the Mswati regime’s use of the courts, prison sentences, banning of political parties and persecution of individuals to suppress the pro-democracy movement.

The campaign is highlighting the need to unban all political parties and pro-democracy activity, and to make this the rallying point of all pressure, including international pressure, on the Mswati regime.

“There is also a need now to urge concerted sanctions against the regime. We have seen some piecemeal activity on a cultural boycott and border blockades, but we need to work towards the full isolation of the Mswati regime,” says Kunene.

“The regime thrives on being accepted by other countries as a legitimate government. This acceptance must be reversed. Mswati has no place in the community of democratic states.”