PRESS NOTICE – 31st January 2010 Launch of the Swazi Vigil Exiled Swazis and supporters held a Vigil outside the Swaziland High Commission in London on Saturday 30th January in protest at human rights abuses in the small southern African country. Further Vigils are planned between 10 am and 1 pm every Saturday until there is democracy and respect for human rights in Swaziland. The organizer Thobile Gwebu expressed gratitude for the attendance of representatives from the Zimbabwe Vigil and Action for Southern Africa, the successor to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. She said the Swazi flag was lowered when the group started drumming and they were filmed by people inside the building. Swaziland has a population of 1.1 million and is Africa’s only absolute monarchy. A state of emergency has been in force for 35 years. Political parties are banned, activists are imprisoned, and the judiciary, media and other bodies are controlled by the monarch. Women, in particular, suffer gross violation of their human rights. Seventy per cent of the population live on less than $1 a day and more than 1 in 4 Swazis are living with HIV / AIDS. Next Vigil: Saturday 6th February Venue: Kingdom of Swaziland High Commission, 20 Buckingham Gate, London SW1E 6LB Nearest Tube: St. James Park Interview opportunities: Political activists, torture and rape survivors Further information: Thobile Gwebu 07746 552 597