Political parties are banned in Swaziland and the President of the People’s United Democratic Movement Mario Masuku and the party’s youth leader, Maxwell Dlamini are subjected to arbitrary detention. Swazi human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and journalist Bheki Makhubu received a two year sentence for writing articles critical of the lack of independence in the judiciary. Thulani was moved to solitary confinement after the publication of a prison letter marking the one-year anniversary of his detention.
On 16 March, PSI Project officer Jasper Goss met Vincent Ncongwane, General Secretary of the Trade Union Confederation of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) at a meeting organised by PSI UK affiliate UNISON in London. PSI affiliates have trade union development projects in Swaziland and several representatives of those unions were also present. Comrade Ncongwane had been detained just the week before, after Swazi police broke up a meeting where he was scheduled to discuss democratic reform in the country. He called for more international campaigning to defend trade unions and human rights in the country.