1 May 2014

Swaziland: 'Long Record of Swazi Police Assaults'

Police in the northern Hhohho district of Swaziland have a long record of allegedly assaulting suspects, a newspaper in the kingdom reported.

The latest man to accuse the police appeared at Pigg's Peak Magistrates Court with 'fresh facial bruises', the Swazi Observer said.

The accused man was charged with theft and police from Buhleni brought him to court. He told the court that he had been assaulted by police and named the officers he alleged were involved.

The Observer reported, 'This was not the first accused to appear at the Pigg's Peak Magistrate's Court with bruises claiming to have been assaulted by the men of the law.'

It added, 'Many accused have claimed they were assaulted by police during questioning for crimes they have allegedly committed.

'One accused claimed that a water pipe was inserted into his mouth by the police and it was connected to the tap and the water was opened and he almost choked.

'He claimed that when he had drunk too much water, and was about to pass out the pipe was removed and he was hit in the gut by an officer and vomited all the water.

'The officers then asked him the same questions and he did not answer and the pipe was inserted again until he had to admit to something he had never done in fear of dying.'

The newspaper said police from northern Hhohho had in the past been accused of hitting suspects in the face, but police from other stations, 'do not hit their suspects on the face to conceal evidence' when the suspect makes an appearance before court.

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