A confidential audit report from Norwegian government-owned alcoholic beverage retailer Vinmonopolet has uncovered harassment, unionization prohibitions and salaries below the minimum wage at several of its wine producers in South Africa.
International presence and pressure is necessary to ensure a fair re-trial, set to continue on March 13, against the Gdeim Izik Group from Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara, who Amnesty International says were “unfairly convicted.” The Group strenuously denies the charges, claim that they are politically motivated, and insist that confessions used at the trial were obtained using torture.
Introduce sanctions and boycotts against the repressive Swazi regime and help the democratic movement with everything from legal assistance to torture counselling, organizational skills and information dissemination, says young Swazi activist.
Swaziland’s King Mswati III passes suppression, unaccountability and royal opulent spending in the face of drought, starvation and poverty, as traditionally “Swazi” values. Sonkhe Dube, a young exiled activist, begs to differ.
The International Union of Socialist Youth (IUSY) passed a resolution at its 31st world congress that called for a process that would unban political parties, remove repressive legislation and introduce multi-party democracy in Swaziland.
“I am a victim of circumstances”, says activist Mphandlana ‘Victim’ Shongwe of the nickname he is known by because of the decades of state harassment he has endured in his homeland, Swaziland. “But what has kept me going is the desire to be free”.
Former Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt’s appointment as chief executive of Save the Children has made headlines in Denmark because of her anti-immigration position and her party’s support of a new immigration bill. Many have criticized her policies, including the Danish branch of Save the Children.
Climate change has brought on a severe drought in Swaziland. The solution to the crisis is literally to pray for rain, says the country’s absolute monarch. No, we need a democratic government that does not treat its people as enemies, says a young activist.
In September, there were high hopes in some parts of Swaziland’s civil society and democratic movement that a dialogue with the county’s absolute monarch King Mswati III was on the table. Not least because of pressure from the Commonwealth, the USA and the EU. Three months later no such meeting has taken place and that hope seems all but shattered.