12 June 2018

Swaziland: 'Police Beat Man Close to Death'

Community police officers in Swaziland / Eswatini attacked a man described as 'mentally disturbed' and beat him close to death, a newspaper in the kingdom reported.

The Swazi Observer on Tuesday (12 June 2018) said five officers at Ngoloweni in Sandleni were accused of beating a 44-yearod man after claims that he attempted to rape a girl aged six.

The newspaper reported police and local residents 'pounced on him and without saying much, he was handcuffed and heavily assaulted with sticks. He was also slapped and kicked all over the body.'

The Observer described the man as 'mentally disturbed' with 'speech challenges'.

Police said they were investigating the incident.

There have been numerous reports in Swaziland of community police officers acting violently.

In April 2018 it was reported that two community police officers in Swaziland stripped a man naked, tied him to a tree and flogged his bare buttocks with sticks until they bled profusely. It happened at Malindza after they had accused him of stealing pots from his grandfather's house. They were helped by one of his female cousins.

In March 2018 a court heard that three community policemen gang-raped a 17-year-old schoolgirl at knifepoint and forced her boyfriend to watch. One of them recorded it on his cellphone. The teenager was in her school uniform while she and her boyfriend walked to a river after a school athletics competition. The community policemen told them they were on patrol to make sure none of the pupils committed any offences during the athletics competition.

In 2014 three Malindza community police beat to death a mentally challenged man who had escaped from the National Psychiatric Centre.

In 2011 community police in Kwaluseni reportedly threatened to murder democracy activist Musa Ngubeni if he was released on bail pending trial on explosive offences. Residents accused the community police in the area of being involved in criminal activities.

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