The UN condemns the murder of a human rights lawyer in Eswatini and calls for an “independent” investigation

The UN condemns the murder of a human rights lawyer in Eswatini and calls for an "independent" investigation

The Government of Eswatini says that the death of Maseko “is a loss for the nation” and disassociates itself from “this heinous act”

23 Jan. (EUROPA PRESS) –

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, has condemned this Monday the murder of the human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, who was shot at his home on Saturday, and has called on the authorities for an “independent” and “impartial” investigation. to clarify the event.

“Thulani Maseko was a human rights defender who, at grave risk, spoke for many who are unable to. I offer my sincere condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. His cold-blooded murder deprives Eswatini, southern Africa and the world of a true defender of peace, democracy and Human Rights”, he pointed out.

Thus, it has asked the authorities “to guarantee a prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigation into the murder, in line with the Eswatini Constitution and International Law, and to ensure that all those responsible are held accountable in fair trials”.

“The Eswatini authorities must also guarantee the safety of the entire population, including human rights defenders, journalists and activists, as well as protect civic space,” Turk stressed.

Added to the sentences was the Secretary General of Amnesty International, Agnès Callamard, who was “sad and angry” over Maseko’s murder. “There are many people who will seek justice for you and who will continue your legacy,” she said on her Twitter account.

“The murder of Thulani Maseko is tragic. He was a prisoner of conscience, he was a prominent human rights lawyer, a pillar in the fight for democracy in Eswatini and a wonderful companion to Amnesty. We are devastated,” he said.

Callamard also stressed that the NGO “has documented the increasing sinister tactics of the authorities, acting against and silencing opponents and activists.” “We will do everything possible until justice is done for the murder of Thulani. Those who killed and ordered his murder must be held accountable,” he concluded.

For its part, the Government has denounced that Maseko “was brutally shot and killed by unknown criminals” and has expressed its condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. “Maseko’s death is a loss for the nation and his footprints as a human rights lawyer are proof of his contribution to the country,” he said.

The spokesman for the Government of Eswatini, Alpheous Nxumalu, has pointed out in a statement that the authorities “are already working to search for the murderers” and has assured that “they will not rest until they are arrested.” “We ask the nation to alert the Police if they have information that can help stop these criminals,” he added.

“The Government once again takes the opportunity to condemn the ruthless murder of civilians,” he said, while warning against “speculation and insinuations fueled particularly on social networks” against the authorities.

“The government disassociates itself from these heinous acts. These speculations are dangerous, as they damage investigations and divert attention from the real criminals. The government calls on the nation to stand with Maseko’s family and pray during this sad time.” , has riveted.

Maseko was president of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum, an association that brought together various civil society organizations, companies, unions, political parties, religious groups and women’s organizations that advocate for a peaceful transition and multiparty democracy in the African country. The lawyer was now the legal representative of two parliamentarians who are being tried in relation to his role in the 2021 pro-democracy mobilizations.

Eswatini, a country of about 1.3 million people known as Swaziland until 2018, has been ruled as an absolute monarchy by Mswati III since 1986. The monarch controls parliament and appoints ministers, drawing criticism for his monopoly of power.

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