Date: June 19, 2024

500 days of impunity: Demand justice for Thulani Maseko

Thulani Maseko was a father, husband, and a dedicated human rights lawyer known for his courageous advocacy against state abuses in Eswatini. On January 21, 2023, he was tragically shot dead by unknown assailants in front of his wife. Amnesty International believes his murder is connected to his work defending human rights.

Despite international demands for a thorough investigation, justice remains elusive, and to date, authorities have not made public any progress on the investigation nor interviewed key witnesses including Thulani’s wife.

Sign onto the below letter to demand Eswatini authorities promptly, thoroughly, impartially, independently, transparently and effectively investigate the killing of Thulani Maseko. 

King Mswati III
The Royal Palace
Mbabane, Eswatini

Your Majesty,

I am writing to express my serious concern regarding the lack of progress in bringing to justice those suspected to be responsible for the brutal killing of Thulani Maseko. It has now been 500 days since this tragic event, yet no meaningful steps have been taken to hold his killers to account or ensure access to justice and effective remedies for Thulani Maseko’s family.

Thulani Maseko was a loving father and husband who dedicated his life to the people of Eswatini. He was an outspoken critic of the country’s repressive laws and the excessive use of force by the authorities to silence peaceful protests. His commitment to justice and human rights should be honored, not met with inaction and impunity.

I therefore urge you and your government to initiate a prompt, thorough, independent, impartial, transparent and effective investigation into Thulani Maseko’s killing. It is imperative that anyone suspected of being responsible for this heinous act is brought to justice through a fair trial. Additionally, Thulani’s family must be provided with access to justice and effective remedies, ensuring that they receive the support and closure they deserve.

Furthermore, I call on you to ensure an investigation into the unlawful use of force by state security forces, which has resulted in the deaths of over 100 protestors since June 2021. Suspected perpetrators must be held accountable in fair trials and victims must be provided with access to justice and effective remedies.

The world is watching, and it is crucial that the Kingdom of Eswatini upholds the principles of justice, human rights and the rule of law. By taking decisive and effective action, you and your government can demonstrate a commitment to these international legal requirements and values and restore faith in the justice system.

Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Yours Sincerely,
Amnesty International South Africa Supporter