Swaziland: Fear for safety / legal concern / prisoners of conscience

Simon Noge, Secretary of Human Rights Association of Swaziland (HUMARAS) and Chair of Swaziland Democratic Alliance (SDA); Jan Sithole, Secretary General of the Swaziland Federation of Trade Unions (SFTU); Jabulani Nxumalo, SFTU Deputy Secretary General; Richard Nxumalo, SFTU President; Themba Msibi, SFTU Vice-President; and other SFTU officials and members: There is concern for the safety of Simon Noge, who was arbitrarily detained by police on 5 January 1997. It is believed that he has been arrested solely on account of his work representing victims of police abuses and as a leading government opponent. On 31 January the four other men named above were arrested by police. They are not known to have been ill-treated and they have access to their lawyers, but the charges against them are believed to be spurious. Amnesty International is calling for the release of all five men as prisoners of conscience.

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