ITUC-Africa statement on the brazen attack of the eSwatini Royal Police against peaceful protesters

20 September 2018 Lomé, TOGO
Keywords : Swaziland Democracy Human and trade union rights Protest letters Swaziland

Dear Mr. Prime Minister,
Protest against the brazen attack of the eSwatini Royal Police against peaceful protesters
The African Regional Organization of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa (www.ituc-africa.org) writes to express its concern about the recent police attack on workers’ peaceful demonstration in your country.

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pdf/ITUC-Africa statement on the brazen attack of the eSwatini Royal Police against peaceful protesters

We have learnt with utter shock that the peaceful protest initiated by members of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) was viciously repressed and protesters brutally attacked by the eSwatini Royal Police Force. We have been informed by our affiliate, TUCOSWA, that the protest action was meant to draw attention to a number of pressing work place and livelihood issues, notably relating to salary increases and cost of living allowances and with the view to getting government to commence genuine and effective negotiations on these.

We have also been informed by TUCOSWA that the protest action was a protected one for which the relevant authorities had been well informed, including the Police who were expected to be present to protect the protesters. On the contrary, the Police charged at and attacked the protesters, thereby causing severe bodily injuries to scores of them.

ITUC-Africa strongly condemns the unprovoked and deliberate attack by the police against peaceful protesters and submits that it amounted to a flagrant violation of the human and labour rights of these workers.

We call on you, Mr. Prime Minister, to use your good offices to cause a cessation of all repressive actions against the trade unions in their quest to attain better living and working conditions for workers.

We equally ask that government investigates these attacks and prosecute those found to have attacked these protesters so as to rein in impunity.

ITUC-Africa also urges Mr. Prime Minister to ensure that the eSwatini government enters into genuine negotiations with the trade unions in order to mutually resolve the issues in contention.

As we continue to monitor the situation and look forward to a favorable response from Mr. Prime Minister, we extend to Your Excellency the assurances of our very high regards.

Yours faithfully,

Kwasi Adu-Amankwah
General Secretary, ITUC-Africa

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