Brussels 20.02.2023 Eswatini: the situation of human rights defenders and the murder of Thulani Maseko.
The European Parliament strongly condemns the killing of human rights and trade union lawyer Thulani Maseko . MEPs call for an investigation into the harassment, violence and pressure against other pro-democracy and human rights activists, as well as the alleged recruitment of mercenaries to help the country’s security forces repress opposition.
MEPs call for the immediate release of all political prisoners, whose incarceration they consider a clear contravention of the Cotonou Agreement. They urge the authorities to launch a comprehensive dialogue with its opponents without delay, with the aim of national reconciliation and lasting peace, under the mediation of the Southern African Development Community (SEDC). Lastly, the resolution calls on the EU to review or suspend support programs to Eswatini, if funds risk being used for activities that violate human rights.
In Eswatini, the last absolute monarchy in Africa, Thulani Maseko was killed in his home just hours after King Mswati III threatened members of the country’s pro-democracy movement earlier this year.