Lesotho: Quash ‘mutiny’ charges against freed soldiers

In response to the release on “open arrest” today of the final seven Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) members detained on mutiny charges since 2015, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena said:

Today’s release of the seven members of the Lesotho Defence Force, after almost two years in detention without trial on mutiny charges, is a long overdue step
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for Southern Africa

“Today’s release of the seven members of the Lesotho Defence Force, after almost two years in detention without trial on mutiny charges, is a long overdue step.

“The SADC commission of enquiry found the mutiny charges against the group of 23 soldiers these seven were detained with to be ‘suspect’. The mutiny charges against all 23 soldiers must be quashed.

“The soldiers were held in inhumane conditions, some have raised serious allegations they were tortured, and some were denied sufficient medical treatment. There must be a thorough, independent and impartial investigation into these allegations and suspected perpetrators brought to justice.”