Swaziland Wrongly Convicts Activists for Article Critical of Judge | Freedom House

Swaziland Wrongly Convicts Activists for Article Critical of Judge

Washington

In response to a court in Swaziland convicting two prominent human rights activists, Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu, on spurious contempt of court charges and sentencing the men to two years imprisonment, Freedom House issued the following statement:

"The chances for Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu to have a fair trial were compromised from the beginning since the court did not follow due process of law and the presiding judges had clear conflicts of interest," said Vukasin Petrovic, director of Africa programs at Freedom House.  "Any possible appeal process to the Supreme Court is likely to be yet another mockery of justice as the chief justice, who is in charge of the allocation of cases, was the subject of the article written by Maseko and published by Makhubu, criticizing the justice's conduct."

Freedom House joins opposition groups, civil society organizations, and international organizations in demanding the swift and unconditional release of the defendants.

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

To learn more, visit:
Swaziland Makes Mockery of Justice in Guilty Verdicts Against Activists
U.S. Responds to Swaziland’s Lack of Protection for Human Rights
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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