Media Alert / Research

‘Freedom of expression under siege in Swaziland’ – report

MISA-Swaziland | Research
August 13 2014

A new piece of research by a Masters student at the University of Pretoria says Swazi “citizens cannot freely express themselves on issues involving the government and the monarchy because of fear of being harassed by the authorities”.

Kudzani Ndlovu, who is studying at the University’s centre for human rights, completed the study after months of research, including ‘on the ground’ interviews in Swaziland.

His report, titled ‘Freedom of expression under siege: an investigation into the state of freedom of expression in Swaziland’, concludes that the “clampdown on the media is a clear indication authorities are unwilling to tolerate dissent”.

Ndlovu makes reference to the arrests of Swazi editor Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, who are now serving a two-year jail term after being convicted of criminal contempt of court.

“The arrest of the two is not an isolated incident but rather a highlight of the repressive regime’s concerted efforts to supress freedom of expression,” he says. 

“The government has maintained a tight grip on the media so as to control the information being disseminated while the few ‘independent’ media outlets has been constantly attacked leading to unprecedented levels of self-censorship.”

To read the full research click here

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