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Further information on UA 468/90 (AFR 55/05/90, 16 November and follow-ups AFR 55/06/90, 23 November, AFR 55/07/90, 11 December, AFR 55/01/91, 18 January and AFR 55/02/91, 20 February) - Swaziland: legal / health concern: renewed health concern: Sabelo Dl

, Index number: AFR 55/003/1991

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 55/03/91
Distr: UA/SC
15 March 1991
Further information on UA 468/90 (AFR 55/05/90, 16 November, and follow-ups
AFR 55/06/90, 23 November, AFR 55/07/90, 11 December 1990, AFR 55/01/91, 18
January, and AFR 55/02/91, 20 February 1991) - Legal/Health Concern
Renewed Health Concern
Mphandlana SHONGWE
The Swaziland authorities have again renewed the 60-day administrative
detention orders originally imposed in November 1990 on the five men named
above. Their detention orders were renewed on 12 March 1991 for a third
consecutive period of 60 days under the King's Decree No. 1 (1978). This
legislation permits detention for an indefinite period, incommunicado and
outside the jurisdiction of the courts, and is thus in conflict with
internationally accepted human rights standards. The detention orders were
renewed in spite of the fact that the Prime Minister had given personal
assurances to relatives of the detainees that their orders would not be renewed.
All five men are again refusing to take food, in protest against their
continuing detention. Dominic Mngomezulu and Boy Magagula renewed their
hunger-strike on about 1 March, and on about 7 March were admitted to Mbabane
Government Hospital where they are held under guard. Sabelo Dlamini, Ray Russon
and Mphandlana Shongwe resumed their hunger-strike on 12 March following renewal
of their detention orders, and are currently still in prison. For all five
men this is their second hunger-strike in recent weeks, and for Sabelo Dlamini
and Ray Russon it is their third hunger-strike since their detention in November
1990. Both Ray Russon and Mphandlana Shongwe in particular became seriously
ill when on hunger-strike in January. Amnesty International is concerned about
the likely longer-term effects of repeated and prolonged hunger-strikes on
the physical health of these five men.
Amnesty International considers all five men to be prisoners of
conscience, detained on account of their non-violent political activities,
and is calling for their immediate and unconditional release.
Sabelo Dlamini, Dominic Mngomezulu, Ray Russon and Mphandlana Shongwe were
convicted in October 1990 of contravening a 1973 decree which prohibits people
from organizing or attending any meetings of a political nature. Boy Magagula
was also previously detained and was charged in connection with the same trial,
but was not brought to trial with the other accused. There is an appeal pending
against the convictions of Dominic Mngomezulu, Ray Russon, Sabelo Dlamini,
Mphandlana Shongwe and two other accused. (Please see UA 308/90, AFR 55/01/90,
24 July, and follow-ups AFR 55/03/90, 31 October and AFR 55/04/90, 6 November,
for further information.)
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and airmail
- expressing concern that the detention orders imposed in November 1990 upon
Sabelo Dlamini, Boy Magagula, Dominic Mngomezulu, Ray Russon and Mphandlana
Shongwe were again renewed on 12 March 1991;
- expressing concern that all five prisoners have again renewed their
hunger-strike in protest against their continuing detention;
- expressing particular concern about the health of Dominic Mngomezulu and
Boy Magagula, who have been on hunger-strike since 1 March and have been admitted
to hospital, and about the health of the other three men;
- seeking assurances that they are being given immediate and regular access
to their lawyers, relatives, and independent medical advice;
- urging the authorities not to continue to detain these prisoners under
provisions which permit their indefinite imprisonment, incommunicado and
without charge or trial;
- stressing that Amnesty International considers them to be prisoners of
conscience, imprisoned on account of their non-violent political activities,
and calling for their immediate and unconditional release.
H.M. King Mswati III
PO Box 1
Lobamba, Swaziland
Telegrams: HM King Mswati, Swaziland
Telexes: 2276 WD (via Prime Minister's Office)
The Right Hon. Obed Dlamini
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
P O Box 395
Mbabane, Swaziland
Telegrams: Prime Minister, Mbabane, Swaziland
Telexes: 2276 WD
Faxes: + 268 43943
Mr Zonke Khumalo
Minister of Justice
P O Box 924
Mbabane, Swaziland
Telegrams: Justice Minister Khumalo, Mbabane, Swaziland
Telexes: 2017 COMPOL WD
Faxes: + 268 42092
- Mr Sandile Mdziniso, Commissioner of Police, c/o Office of the Prime Minister,
PO Box 395, Mbabane, Swaziland
- Attorney General, Attorney General's Chambers, PO Box 578, Mbabane, Swaziland
- The President, The Swaziland Law Society, Box No. 24, Mbabane, Swaziland
- The Times of Swaziland, PO Box 156, Lansdown House, Post St, Mbabane, Swaziland
and to diplomatic representatives of Swaziland in your country.
Please organize some appeals from lawyers, academics or students.
Please also encourage your local member of parliament to send appeals on behalf
of these prisoners of conscience.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 26 April 1991.

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