The media consortium under the auspices of CANGO has concerns regarding alleged torture and intimidation of a local journalist and editor of an online news platform. Through messages shared and seen in social media, Mr Zweli Martin Dlamini, the publisher and editor of Swaziland News posted in his Facebook account that he has evidence of his own intimidation by the police and subsequent torture.
Previously, we have engaged the police regarding these allegations.
When we approached the police earlier on to enquire about this matter, it was denied that the alleged torture of Dlamini but confirmed having questioning him.
It would be unfortunate if such allegations have any element of truth.
Any allegations of torture by the police are regrettable and prohibited by international laws and the Constitution which confers citizens’ rights, including journalists to freely cover and report issues of national interest.
These allegations also taint the country’s image, including litigation against the Police.
Aggrieved persons also have a right to approach the Courts.
The media consortium therefore urges the police to desist from harassing the media practitioners in line of duty.
Ours it to advocate for the protection and promotion of freedom of expression and for journalism practice to thrive without fear, favour nor prejudice.
We call for an independent body to investigate and bring perpetrators to book.
We can advise Mr Dlamini to report his concerns with the Commission of Human Rights.
By the Chairperson of the Media Consortium