MANZINI: Washington Katema, the Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network(SAHRDN)Director rushed to Mkhiwa Clinic on Tuesday afternoon to check on Students President Union Colani Maseko who was abducted, heavily assaulted and subsequently dumped at Matsapha by King Mswati’s soldiers.
King Mswati has intensified the abductions and killing of civilians, political activists and human rights defenders merely for demanding democratic reforms.
Speaking to this Swaziland News on Tuesday afternoon,the Human Rights Defenders Director condemned the assault.
“As Southern African Human Rights Defenders we condemn in the strongest possible terms, the targeting and attacking of frontline human rights defenders and in this case, the attack on Colani Maseko who is the President of the Swaziland National Union of Students.We call on the authorities to swiftly investigate the abduction of comrade Colani and quickly publish the investigation and pronounce themselves clearly in terms of the primary responsibility of the State which is to protect all citizens.It is not the duty of the State to abduct and torture citizens”, said the Director of the Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network.
Katema was accompanied by Thabo Masuku, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Social and Economic Justice(FSEF).
Reached for comments, Lieutenant Tengetile Khumalo, the Army Spokesperson said the Officer-in Charge had not briefed her office regarding the operation.
“Your questionnaire is highly appreciated.Unfortunately for now my Office is not in a position to respond to your questionnaire, owing to the fact that the Operations Officer in charge has not given an account to the Office of the UEDF Public Affairs on the day's detailed report.It would therefore, be folly on my part to respond before reports on the operation have been made", she said.
On another note, the Director reminded the eSwatini authorities about their obligations in terms of international human rights standards and urged them to respect the rights of all citizens.
SAHRN Director Washington Katema and FSEJ Director Thabo Masuku arrived at Mkhiwa Clinic to check Students President Colani Maseko.