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COSATU condemns arrests and shooting of workers in Lesotho
17 August 2011
COSATU - http://www.cosatu.org.za/
COSATU condemns in the strongest possible terms the brutal crackdown on workers and activists in Lesotho by security forces, following reports that about 5 unionists have been arrested and beaten by police, spent night in prison and were later released with no charge. The reports went on to say about 9 people might have been shot, with the suspicion that one might have died.
This follows action organised by Textile workers and joined by the four federations, other unions and organisations of Civil society in Lesotho.
We are further told that the government of Lesotho has closed down all community radio stations and only government communications channels are open now, which clearly indicates the intentions of the state to control and determine the kind of information the people of Lesotho and the world should get.
We condemn this and call on our regional body, SATUCC to take strong stand against the growing arrogance by governments in the SADC region; from Zimbabwe to Swaziland, from Angola to Mozambique, from Malawi to Lesotho governments are unleashing brutality against workers and activists in general.
We call on the government of Lesotho to stop the persecution of workers, address the issues raised in their demands and allow free union and political activity in the country, including freeing the airwaves for workers and people to communicate and get information on developments.
We fully support the workers of Lesotho and stand ready to offer solidarity in practical terms.
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