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Rights group calls for release of incarcerated eSwatini MPs

Rights group Amnesty International on Thursday called on the eSwatini authorities to drop what it termed “trumped-up charges” against two…

Rights group Amnesty International on Thursday called on the eSwatini authorities to drop what it termed “trumped-up charges” against two incarcerated lawmakers accused of engaging in anti-government activities.Amnesty International director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena described the arrest of members of parliament Mduduzi Mabuza and Mthandeni Dube last weekend as “vague and an absolute fabrication”. 

“They have committed no crime and have been targeted by the government solely for their political views,” Muchena said.

He called on the eSwatini authorities to “stop targeting pro-democracy activists and listen to their genuine grievances” as part of efforts to find a sustainable solution to the protests that gripped the country in the past few weeks. 

“Both MPs are victims of a political witch-hunt which is designed to silence any voice that is demanding political reforms and human rights amid pro-democracy protests that have erupted in the country,” Muchena said.

The two lawmakers are accused of contravening the Suppression of Terrorism Act and COVID-19 regulations after they participated in pro-democracy protests in June following the mysterious death of law student at the hands of the police.

They were due to appear in the Mbabane High Court on Thursday.

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