PRESS NOTICE – 20th January 2010
Launch of the Swazi Vigil
Exiled Swazis and supporters are to hold a weekly Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London in protest at human rights abuses in the small southern African country.
The first Vigil is to take place on Saturday 30th January from 10 am – 1pm. The Vigils will continue until there democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland.
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 lives on less than $1 a day and more than 1 in 4 Swazis are living with HIV / AIDS.
We will be running the following petitions:
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.
Programme for 30th January
Event: Protest for democracy and an end to human rights abuses in Swaziland
Date and time: Saturday 30th January from 10 am – 1 pm
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