Swaziland Makes Mockery of Justice in Guilty Verdicts Against Activists | Freedom House

Swaziland Makes Mockery of Justice in Guilty Verdicts Against Activists

Washington

After the High Court in Mbabane, Swaziland, conviction today of human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and editor Bheki Makhubu, guilty of contempt of court because of an article criticizing the conduct of Swaziland’s Chief Justice Michael Ramodibedi, Freedom House released the following statement:

“After a three-month show trial, Swaziland’s High Court conviction of two of the country’s most prominent human rights activists shows that Swaziland’s court system has lost its last shred of credibility,” said Jenai Cox, program manager for Africa programs at Freedom House. “The judiciary has become an instrument of repression, as King Mswati attempts secure his grip on power. Freedom House joins opposition groups, civil society organizations and international organizations in demanding authorities swiftly and unconditionally release Maseko, Makhubu and all of Swaziland’s political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.”

Trial judge Mpendulo Simelane has indefinitely suspended the defendants’ sentencing. Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu have been in custody for 117 days.

Swaziland is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2014 and Freedom of the Press 2014.

To learn more, visit:
U.S. Responds to Swaziland’s Lack of Protection for Human Rights
Freedom House Joins Archbishop Desmond Tutu, RFK Center, in Calling for End to Crackdown on Freedom of Expression in Swaziland
Swazi Authorities Should Drop Political Charges
Freedom in the World 2013: Swaziland
Freedom of the Press 2013: Swaziland

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Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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