Twenty five local, regional, and international organisation today wrote to the Prime Minister of Swaziland, Dr Barnabus Sibusiso Dlamini, urging him and his government to amend the controversial Suppression of Terrorism Act to bring it into line with the Constitution.
The legislation, particularly the definition of “terrorist act” and the power given to authorities to designate organisations as “terrorist groups”, has been criticised by local and international organisations since its enactment in 2008. In May 2013, the then Labour Minister, Lutfo Dlamini announced that the Swazi government had agreed to amend the definition of “terrorist act.” However, that has yet to be done.
The letter highlights the problematic areas in the Suppression of Terrorism Act, and details the country’s international obligations to ensure that counter-terrorism measures adhere to international human rights standards. The organisations request a timeframe from the government for the amendment process, and indicate the importance of a participative and inclusive process.
The letter can be accessed here.