Freedom House is deeply concerned by the recent repeal by Swaziland’s legislature of a vote of no-confidence following apparent pressure from the country’s king. This repeal, and the blatant disregard by the king for country’s constitution, epitomizes the increasing deterioration for the rule of law and respect for democratic governance in the country.
In a welcome move, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) has sharply criticized the human rights record of the government of Swaziland and has called on it to respect, protect, and fulfill the rights to freedom of expression, association, and assembly in accordance with their commitments under international law.
Freedom House is deeply concerned by the ongoing suppression of civil liberties in Swaziland, where a planned pro-democracy protest was preemptively dispersed on April 12 through arrests and intimidation by police and military forces.
In an alarming move to restrict freedom of expression, the government of Swaziland has proposed a law that will make it illegal to criticize King Mswati III on Facebook and Twitter. Justice Minister Mgwagwa Gamedze proposed the legislation, informing the Swazi Senate they would take a “tough” stance on those who criticize the king via social media and “set an example.”
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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