Swazi Government Threatens Worker, Human Rights Leaders

The Solidarity Center joins the global labor movement and human rights community in condemning the death threat made by the Swazi prime minister against two worker and human rights leaders who traveled to the U.S.-Africa summit this week.

Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, prime minister of Swaziland, told the Times of Swaziland that Vincent Ncongwane, secretary general of the Trade Union Confederation of Swaziland (TUCOSWA), and Sipho Gumede, secretary general of Lawyers for Human Rights, should be “strangled” for traveling to Washington, D.C., for the summit. (You can e-mail the Swazi prime minister to condemn his threats.)

“The Swazi government’s contempt for workers, for human rights and for civil society is evident and reprehensible,” said Shawna Bader-Blau, executive director of the Solidarity Center. “We stand with brave rights activists like Vincent and Sipho and with all Swazi workers who face repression from their own government, and we support their efforts to fight for basic rights.”

In July, Swaziland lost benefits under the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) for its failure to respect worker rights.