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Remarks by the Swazi prime minister, Barnabas Dlamini, that Swazi citizens should 'strangle' two human rights activists when they return from the United States, are the latest example of the government's blatant disregard for the fundamental right of freedom of speech and for rule of law.

The Swazi government’s isolation of human rights activist Thulani Maseko shows its increasing intolerance for freedom of expression and its contempt for the rule of law.

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.

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.



Senior Advisor for Policy

Dr. Herman is senior advisor for policy at Freedom House.


Signature Reports

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Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa 2007

Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.


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