COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION / INTEGRITY
PRESS STATEMENT – CALL FOR RESTRAIT AND RESPECT OF RIGHTS FOR ALL DURING THIS TIME
The Commission on Human Rights and Public Administration/Integrity (CHRPA) is deeply concerned about the ongoing unrest and acknowledges that this is unprecedented for the country. The Commission wants to emphasize on the importance of the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms articulated and enshrined in Chapter III of our Constitution even during these times of unrest.
It is essential that Government actors as key duty bearer and the custodians of the Constitution ensure compliance with the Bill of rights and all the international and regional instruments that have been ratified by Eswatini. The limitations to these rights can only happen under the stipulated conditions and only when absolutely necessary.
The rights holders/citizens in the enjoyment of these rights also have a responsibility to adhere to the laws and limitations put in place for their own protection and public interest.
THE COMMISSION VEHEMENTLY CONDEMNS:
The use of unnecessary force to disburse citizens by Police officials or force by armed forces on protesters and civilians.
Unjustified limiting of citizen’s rights to freely associate and express themselves in their different constituencies in compliance of the Covid -19 regulations. The application of these Regulations should not be used as a tool to limit the enjoyment of rights unless it is not possible to follow the necessary guidelines in the process of delivery of the petitions.
The vandalizing of Government, individuals’ and businesses properties by protesters and reiterate that violence is not the solution to the situation;
THE COMMISSION THEREFORE CALL FOR:
Joint efforts and collaboration in order to ensure solutions are at the best interest for the country and its people;
Facilitation of safe spaces for citizens to dialogue on the pertinent issues ensuring that they are able to exercise their right to freedom of expression and they articulate their grievances amicable and sustainable solutions.
Deliberate efforts by all involved to ensure that these concerns are systematically and holistically addressed post these dialogues.
The review of the decision to ban the delivery of petitions by Acting Prime Minister and exploration of alternative measures to facilitate this process with compliance to the regulations.
Practice of restraint in use of force to restore order to instances where absolutely necessary and where there are no other available options. Where minimal force is necessary restore order, it should be proportionate to the risk presented and all necessary precaution should be put in place to ensure the protection of the right to life.
WE REITERATE THE IMPORTANCE OF:
Responsible , accurate and timely communication to the public;
Respect of rights in whatever protest by the protesters or petitioners and those responsible for the safeguarding those rights.
Strategic thinking in all interventions ensure that the actions do not create long term financial and economic wars for the country still working to recover from the impact of Covid-19.
WE IMPLORE government to therefore provide space for dialogue and also to respect the views of the citizens. We further implore government to take immediate action in resolving this situation as the continued protests and violation of rights may lead to more violence and unrest. We appeal for patience and respect of laws of the land by the citizens and willingness to reach a peaceful resolution to the current impasse.
THE COMMISSION STANDS FOR THE RESPECT AND PROTECTION OF THE RIGHTS FOR ALL AND CALLS FOR PEACE AND AMICABLE RESOLUTION TO ALL THE CONCERNS PRESENTED.
STATEMENT DATED AND ISSUED BY THE COMMISSION ON THE 2ND JULY 2021 AT MBABANE.
COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION/INTEGRITY.
Mon, 05 Jul 2021