Eswatini

Students, youth, lead calls for democracy in Eswatini

Pro democracy protests continue in Eswatini as police use excessive force; Internet shut down amid the protests; Read more

Students, youth, lead calls for democracy in Eswatini

Pro-democracy protest action and internet shutdown in Eswatini

The Kingdom of Eswatini is one of the most unique and controversial states in the SADC Region. The nation’s Constitution gives the king absolute powers, and the monarchy has been in power since 1986. Although the nation holds elections every five years, the exercise of absolute powers by the monarchy has seen recent human rights protests by Eswatini citizens for the government to reform the Constitution. The protest actions began on the 20th of June 2021 in the Manzini region when the nation’s youth took to the streets, demanding the right to democratically elect a prime minister. The pro-democracy protesters defied an overnight curfew to call for constitutional reforms as tensions increased in Africa’s last absolute monarchy. These protests have led to internet shutdowns and the injuring and alleged killing of protestors. Protestors and human rights activists have accused the king of running a repressive government and evading calls for reforms in Eswatini. The king has also been accused of using public coffers to fund a lavish lifestyle off the backs of 1.5 million citizens, most of them subsistence farmers. As a result, the protestors are calling for a democratic government that will serve the people's interests.
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Pro-democracy protest action and internet shutdown in Eswatini

Protest against COVID-19 restriction banned by authorities

march which was scheduled to be held in Mbabane in protest against an alcohol ban imposed as a COVID-19 restriction was banned by the police and the local authorities Read more

Protest against COVID-19 restriction banned by authorities

Government continues unrelenting onslaught on expression

Zweli Martin Dlamini, editor of Swaziland News media outlet was arrested for alleged sedition after police raided his home, flees to South Africa after being released hours later; COVID-19 disinformation regulations criticised for being overly broad Read more

Government continues unrelenting onslaught on expression

Police raid homes of pro-democracy activists

police officers raided the homes of pro-democracy activists in Mbabane, in the name of His Majesty King Mswati III Read more

Police raid homes of pro-democracy activists

Authorities rein in sustained pro-democracy and cost of living protests

In the last few months, protest actions have escalated as workers, pro-democracy and human rights activists separately decry low wages for workers, high poverty levels in the country and call for an end to the continent’s last absolute monarchy. Read more

Authorities rein in sustained pro-democracy and cost of living protests

Swaziland sees its first Pride Parade taking place

Swaziland's first Pride Parade took place on 30th June in Mbabane without any reported incidents, although threats were issued against organisers and police, said Melusi Simelane of LGBTQ organisation Rock of Hope to the Daily Beast. Homosexuality is illegal in the country. Read more

Swaziland sees its first Pride Parade taking place

Swaziland: State's heavy-handed suppression of civic space

The country's government and ruling monarch continue to maintain tight control over citizens' civic freedoms, preventing their free exercise of the rights to association, assembly and expression. Read more

Swaziland: State's heavy-handed suppression of civic space

Police violently disperse student protesters

On 3rd April 2017, the police used water cannon and batons to disperse students demonstrating against the government's failure to pay their examination fees. Read more

Police violently disperse student protesters