Swaziland student protesters arrested
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.”