Thank you Mister President,
Norway thanks the delegation of the Kingdom of Swaziland for its presentation of the report submitted for the UPR.
Norway is concerned about the systematic violations by the government of Swaziland on the Right to Freedom of Assembly and Association, including the suppression of political parties. Reports of forceful disruption of peaceful marches, rallies and protests, including through the use of violence and arbitrary detention, is a source of grave concern. Norway recommends Swaziland to create an enabling environment for civil society where citizens are free to exercise their full rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association in accordance with the principles of democracy and in line with international obligations under the ICCPR, including revoking the royal decree of 1973.
Reports of extensive use of pre-trial detention, ill-treatment and alleged torture of individuals in police custody are alarming. We recommend that Swaziland takes steps to end impunity for such violations of human rights, by investigating and prosecuting all perpetrators. Furthermore, we recommend that necessary steps are taken to ensure that law enforcement and security officials are subject to legal oversight and operate in compliance with international human rights standards.
Norway recommends Swaziland to take immediate steps to repeal laws which criminalize and/or restrict freedom of expression and of the media, in particular the Sedition and Subversive Activities Act, the Proscribed Publications Act 1968 provisions of the Suppression of Terrorism Act.
In conclusion, Norway recommends that Swaziland takes steps to strengthen the cooperation with UN treaty bodies, including presenting reports as requested by such bodies, and by issuing a standing invitation to the Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups of the UN Human Rights system. We also recommend the Government of Swaziland to continue its engagement with the UPR process and work in close cooperation with civil society to implement recommendations arising out of it.
I thank you.