To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what recent discussions his Department has had with (a) King Mswati III and (b) the Government of Eswatini on (i) the death of Thabani Nkomonye in May 2020, (ii) reports that pro-democracy protests that have taken place since Mr Nkomonye's death have been met with violent retaliation by the Eswatini authorities, (iii) evidence from Amnesty International of violent retaliation by state security forces and (iv) the telecommunications ban in place since the start of the protests; and if he will call on the Eswatini authorities to (1) carry out an investigation into reports of use of excessive force, (2) investigate and conduct fair trials of anyone suspected to be responsible and (3) uphold human rights; and if he will make a statement.
The UK is deeply concerned by the recent violent confrontations and civil unrest in Eswatini and we continue to monitor developments closely. Alongside the EU and US, the UK has made it absolutely clear to the Government of Eswatini that it must exercise restraint and respect the human rights of its people, including their right to peaceful protest, and called for all alleged incidents of police brutality and mishandling to be investigated. At the same time, the UK and our partners have stressed that protestors must voice their concerns via non-violent means, and desist from looting or the destruction of private property. The UK, welcomes the calling of a Sibaya which allows HM King Mswati III to address his people and presents an initial opportunity for citizens to express their views.