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Swaziland activists worry about safety on return from Washington after Africa leaders' summit

Two activists from Swaziland who were in Washington during a recent summit of African leaders say they are concerned about their safety after the Swazi prime minister reportedly said they should be strangled.

Labor leader Vincent Ncongwane and lawyer Sipho Gumedze appeared at a news conference Tuesday in Johannesburg to express their concern but did not say when they intend to return to Swaziland. They called for free expression in Swaziland, which is ruled by King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch.

The Times of Swaziland quoted the Swazi prime minister, Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, as telling lawmakers last week that union leaders had gone to Washington without announcing their plans and that "you must strangle them" on their return.

The Swazi Observer later reported that Dlamini had retracted his remark.