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Human rights violations in Eswatini

EDM (Early Day Motion) 491: tabled on 18 October 2021

Tabled in the 2021-22 session.

This motion has been signed by 5 Members. It has not yet had any amendments submitted.

Motion text

That this House is deeply concerned by the severe human rights violations in Eswatini, formerly Swaziland; notes that Amnesty International referred to the arrest in July 2021 of two pro-democracy MPs under the Suppression of Terrorism Act as vague and absolute fabrication and went on to observe they have committed no crime and have been targeted by the government solely for their political views; further notes that Freedom House have condemned the arrests as the latest instance of Eswatini’s ongoing crackdown on political dissent and the rights to free expression and association; is aware that dozens of people are believed to have been killed by the security forces during the subsequent protests; notes that heavy-handed responses by security forces in recent years also include the use by police of tear gas and water cannons to disperse a crowd of striking civil servants, and the prohibition of a proposed peaceful gathering by members of the Swazi Democratic Party; further notes the recent ban on the holding of demonstrations and the delivering of petitions to government officials, the recent imposition of a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and recent restriction on access to the internet; further notes that Eswatini is a a member of the Commonwealth; and urges the UK Government to engage with the Eswatini administration and calls on the Eswatini authorities to carry out an investigation into reports of the use of excessive force and to ensure that the fundamental freedoms and basic human rights of all Eswatini citizens are fully respected.