December 3, 2015
Six lawyers, who act on behalf of 23 soldiers suspected of plotting a coup, have been harassed both inside and outside the courtroom by the army, the Lesotho Defence Forces (LDF). According to our information, members of the LDF have prevented the lawyers from consulting their clients and have verbally threatened to harm the lawyers. LDF-members carry assault weapons in court, which creates an unsafe and intimidating atmosphere. The lawyers report that they have been followed and monitored by armed special forces. Another lawyer representing the soldiers has fled Lesotho out of fear for his and his family’s safety.
Furthermore, five of the lawyers are also placed on a ‘hit list’ which was distributed in late October via social media. This raises even more concern, especially since two people who were on an earlier ‘hit list’ were killed soon after publication of the list.