Arrests on eve of Swazi pro-democracy protest

2010-09-07 07:22

Mbabane, Swaziland – Police say they detained democracy activists on the eve of protests in Swaziland, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarchy.

Police spokesperson Wendy Hleta said authorities wanted to question non-Swazis at a meeting about the protests because “we felt that they had no right to interfere”.

They detained Swazis before determining who was non-Swazi.

Hleta says all were later released.

Sisonke Msimang of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa says two members of the group were among some 50 detained.

Msimang says Swazi authorities are “more and more repressive”.

Two Associated Press journalists from South Africa were stopped at the border yesterday and told they would not be allowed into Swaziland to cover illegal protests.

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