Swazi Protests Put on Hold After Brutal Crackdown

More

On Tuesday, Swazi police fired rubber bullets and arrested activists protesting the country's absolute monarchy. The day marked the 38th anniversary of the banning of political parties in Swaziland, a country that has been widely criticized for massive human rights abuses and has one of the highest rates of AIDS in the world. The protests were planned for three consecutive days, but unions called off today's mass protest against Swazi King Mswati III in order to re-strategize after the government security forces arrested most of their leadership.

An activist and organiser on the ground, who asked to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera that "more than five protesters have been arrested for attempting to restart the intermittent protests currently going on in the centre of Manzini".

"Protesters are gathered in a large crowd in the middle of the bus rank and are refusing to bow down to police demands that they disperse.

The activist said a curfew had been declared in Manzini from 6pm. "All police officers have been deployed in Manzini, where the action is concentrated," he said.

Swazi union leaders and pro-democracy activists are divided as to how to proceed after security forces on Tuesday fired tear gas and water cannons, beat people with batons and arrested activists.

Sibongile Mazibuko, president of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers, said earlier on Wednesday that teachers had called off protests for security reasons, as police had jailed teachers for treason and beaten those gathered at the headquarters on Tuesday.

Read the full story at Al Jazeera.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Miriam Krule writes for and produces The Atlantic's International channel.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror?

In a series of candid video interviews, women talk about self-image, self-judgment, and what it means to love their bodies


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.

Video

What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.

Video

Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.

Video

Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.

Video

Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.

Video

The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air

Writers

Up
Down

More in Global

Just In