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U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Eswatini
November 8, 2021

U.S. Statement at the Universal Periodic Review of Eswatini
39th Session
As Delivered by Meryn Schneiderhan, Human rights officer

The United States warmly welcomes the Eswatini delegation.

We recommend that Eswatini:

  1. Formally declare to people of Eswatini that the 2005 Constitution revoked the ban on political parties under the 1973 Decree, and work with civil society to draft regulations to the Elections Act that clarify how political parties and party-affiliated candidates are permitted to participate in the electoral space.
  2. Investigate allegations of human rights violations by security forces against protesters between May and July 2021 and ensure accountability.
  3. Repeal the 1938 Sedition and Subversive Activities Act, which has been used to silence journalists, human right defenders, and political activists.

We commend the prime minister’s statement following the protests that “Eswatini is a country that respects the freedom of expression,” and for pledging that allegations of brutality by the security forces “will be investigated and dealt with appropriately.”  We believe these are important statements that need to be followed up on.  Thank you.