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Eswatini, Formerly Swaziland, Sees Brutal Government Crackdown on Mass Protests over Inequality

Democracy Now!

July 9th 2021

The government of the southern African nation of Eswatini, which was known as Swaziland up until 2018, is brutally cracking down on the largest anti-government protests in the country since it became independent from Britain 53 years ago. Eswatini, bordered by Mozambique and South Africa, is currently facing an economic crisis with a shortage of gas, food and other resources. More than half of Eswatini’s citizens live in poverty, while King Mswati III is known for his lavish lifestyle, including owning expensive cars. Amnesty International reports at least 20 protesters have been killed by state security forces, and dozens of others tortured, detained or abducted. We speak with a women’s rights activist in Manzini, Eswatini, who asked for her face and voice to be obscured due to safety concerns. She says the situation is especially dire for women. “Their situation is very bad,” the activist says. “We’ve been facing the scourge of gender-based violence, but this situation will exacerbate.” #DemocracyNow Democracy Now! is an independent global news hour that airs on nearly 1,400 TV and radio stations Monday through Friday. Watch our livestream 8-9AM ET: https://democracynow.org Please consider supporting independent media by making a donation to Democracy Now! today: https://democracynow.org/donate FOLLOW DEMOCRACY NOW! ONLINE: YouTube: http://youtube.com/democracynow Facebook: http://facebook.com/democracynow Twitter: https://twitter.com/democracynow Instagram: http://instagram.com/democracynow SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/democracynow iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/podcast/democracy-now!-audio/id73802554 Daily Email Digest: https://democracynow.org/subscribe


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