Swaziland authorities must end their violent crackdown

Amnesty International has condemned the use by the Swaziland authorities of state of emergency-style measures to crush peaceful anti-government protests taking place across the country and urged the authorities to return to the rule of law.

"We are alarmed by the levels of state violence in the past 24 hours and the numbers of arbitrary and secret detentions witnessed during this period and fear that those targeted may be at risk of torture," said Amnesty International.

Amnesty International has learned that union leaders who had been released from custody late yesterday were placed under unlawful house arrest today.

The security forces used excessive force yesterday in dispersing protests.

Today heavily armed security force members again besieged the headquarters of the Swaziland National Association of Teachers and are currently conducting a search without a warrant inside the building. Union members and possibly also both national and foreign journalists are present.

Amnesty International is monitoring the situation in Swaziland closely and has experts available for interview.