PRESS NOTICE – 31st January 2010 Launch of the Swazi Vigil Exiled Swazis and supporters held a Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London on Saturday 30th January in protest at human rights abuses in the small southern African country. Further Vigils are planned between 10 am and 1 pm every Saturday until there is democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland. The organizer Thobile Gwebu expressed gratitude for the attendance of representatives from the Zimbabwe Vigil and Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. She said the Swazi flag was lowered when the group started drumming and they were filmed by people inside the building. Swaziland has a population of 1.1 million and is Africa’s only absolute monarchy. A state of emergency has been in force for 35 years. Political parties are banned, activists are imprisoned, and the judiciary, media and other bodies are controlled by the monarch. Women, in particular, suffer gross violation of their human rights. Seventy per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day and more than 1 in 4 Swazis are living with HIV / AIDS. Next Vigil: Saturday 6th February Venue: Kingdom of Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB Nearest Tube: St. James Park Interview opportunities: Political activists, torture and rape survivors Further information: Thobile Gwebu +44 7873 164 482.
Saturday, January 30th, 2010, sees the launch of the Swaziland Vigil UK which will be campaigning for democracy and the respect of basic human rights in Swaziland.
The land-locked Kingdom of Swaziland has a population of just 1.1 million. This small country is often overlooked despite having Africa’s longest running state of emergency of 35 years.
The people of Swaziland suffer from extreme poverty (70 per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day) and more than 1 in 4 Swazis are living with HIV and AIDS. Swaziland is Africa's only autocratic absolute monarchy. Political parties are banned, political and civic activists are imprisoned, and the judiciary, media and other authoritative bodies are controlled by the monarchy.
There is a gross violation of woman’s rights.
The Swaziland Vigil UK will protest every Saturday from 10.00 to 13.00 until there is respect for human rights and democracy in Swaziland.
Swaziland Vigil UK will have the following petitions available for supports to sign:
A petition to the British government:
Exiled Swazis and supporters urge you to put pressure on the absolute monarch King Mswati III to allow political freedom, freedom of speech, the rule of law, respect for women and affordable AIDS drugs in Swaziland.
A petition to the Commonwealth:
Exiled Swazis and supporters urge you to suspend Swaziland from the Commonwealth until there is democracy and an end to human rights abuses in Swaziland.
Kingdom Of Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London, and SW1E 6LB, Nearest Tube St. James Park, Close to Buckingham Palace
10.00 to 13.00
Interview opportunities: Political activists, torture and rape survivors
Further information: Thobile 07746552597, Vincent 07743662046
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