Amnesty International is calling on Eswatini authorities to investigate the police shooting of a protester and the alleged excessive use of force in the tiny country.

According to the rights group, thousands of peaceful protesters outside parliament were violently dispersed with security agents using live ammunition on Friday.

The aim of the demonstration was to deliver a petition to the US embassy, urging the United States to intervene following the arrest and detention of two members of parliament.

“So, as Amnesty International we are saying that Eswatini authorities must launch a prompt, impartial investigation into the shooting that we saw on Friday, leading into one person landing into hospital after they were shot in the head by the security forces. We believe, as Amnesty International, that people should not be shot at for basically demanding basic freedoms in the country.  It’s upon the government of Eswatini to opt to sit down with these pro-democracy activists and have a genuine debate about the future of Eswatini because that’s the only sustainable way to be able to make sure that we have a country that aspires to what all people want to see,” says Amnesty International spokesperson Robert Shivambu.

The country has experienced a lot of civil and political unrest this year.

Spokesperson for the People’s United Democratic Movement speaks about challenges in Eswatini: