Swazi­land stu­dent pro­test­ers ar­rested

The Sunday Independent - - NEWS -

THE SWAZI­LAND Sol­i­dar­ity Net­work yes­ter­day con­demned the ar­bi­trary ar­rests of al­most 10 stu­dents from the Uni­ver­sity of Swazi­land over the past three days and urged the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity to as­sist in their re­lease.

“At the mo­ment no charges have been laid.

“Th­ese are in­tim­i­da­tion tac­tics to sup­press protests,” spokesper­son Lucky Lukhele said.

Lukhele said the uni­ver­sity has been closed in­def­i­nitely after stu­dent protests de­mand­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, book al­lowances, the low­er­ing of re­fec­tory prices, pay­ment of al­lowances and per­mit­ting the stu­dent body to meet. This was banned by the vice-chan­cel­lor ear­lier this year.

When asked if he had any news about the stu­dents, Lukhele said no in­for­ma­tion had been forth­com­ing.

“But I will not be sur­prised if they have been beaten and tor­tured be­cause that is the way the Swazi po­lice deal with pro­test­ers,” he said.

Lukhele said the or­gan­i­sa­tion con­demned the ha­rass­ment of stu­dents’ lead­ers which they saw as a des­per­ate at­tempt to in­tim­i­date stu­dents into sub­mis­sion.

Lukhele said po­lice ar­rested stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tive coun­cil pres­i­dent Sibu­siso Siyaya when he went to the po­lice sta­tion on Fri­day to check on about nine col­leagues ar­rested dur­ing a stu­dent protests at the uni­ver­sity, par­tic­u­larly on Luyengo Cam­pus.

“We call on all pro­gres­sive or­gan­i­sa­tions, free­dom-lov­ing cit­i­zens, stu­dents, guardians and par­ents to stand-up to th­ese bully tac­tics of the dis­cred­ited tinkhundla regime led by King Mswati,” Lukhele said.

“The coun­try’s pro­gres­sive forces are work­ing around the clock to pro­vide le­gal as­sis­tance and coun­sel for the ar­rested stu­dent ac­tivists.”

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