SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: April 12, 2011

Attack Types: Killings, Violence, Disappearances | Imprisonment | Prosecution

Institution(s):University of Swaziland

Region & Country:Southern Africa | Eswatini

New or Ongoing:New Incident

In April 2011 Maxwell Dlamini, president of Swaziland’s National Union of Students, was arrested and charged with possession of illegal ammunition. The arrest took place on the eve of a pro-democracy protest, in which 3000 students were expected to participate. As president of the National Union of Students since October 2010, Dlamini has led campaigns against increased tuition fees and proposed cuts in scholarship programs, and in favor of free primary education, among others.  Dlamini spent nearly 10 months in jail on remand before being released on bail in February 2012, after an international campaign on his behalf. He alleged that he had been tortured in detention and has continued to deny the charges against him.

UPDATE January 7, 2013: In January 2013, Dlamini was briefly rearested allegedly for failing to comply with the conditions of his bail. Dlamini stated that police inefficiency in keeping proper records led to the arrest.