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SERI calls for end to lethal force on Swazi protesters

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SERI has condemned the use of lethal force against protesters in eSwatini, and is pleading with the government of the country to put an end to the violence.

On Friday, 2 July 2021, the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) issued a press statement condemning the use of lethal force against the eSwatini protesters. SERI states that it stands with all victims of state-sanctioned violence in eSwatini and around the world, and echoes the demands for justice, accountability and political freedom.

The institute has noted that the eSwatini military and police have reportedly responded to the protests with excessive use of force, resulting in numerous reported deaths, injuries and arrests. They also noted that it has been reported that internet connectivity in certain parts of the country has been disrupted. SERI emphasised that the government of eSwatini has an obligation to uphold and protect the rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

It expressed that it is deeply disturbed by the reports of repression and excessive use of force, and that it is particularly concerned with the alleged deployment of the military against protesters. The institute called on the government to heed calls to respect the rights of its people and refrain from blocking internet access. It pleads with the government to ensure that security forces refrain from excessive and unlawful uses of force against protesters, and account for these abuses.

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