Swaziland is at position 168 among 197 nations in the world for media freedom in a survey just published by Freedom House.
The kingdom, ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, is at number 40 among 49 countries in Africa. Freedom House concludes that the media in Swaziland is ‘not free’.
Freedom House, an NGO based in the United States that supports global freedom through comprehensive analysis, dedicated advocacy, and concrete assistance for democratic activists around the world, will in due course publish a detailed report on media freedom during the past 12 months in Swaziland.
In its report last year, Freedom House, reported that King Mswati continued to ‘exert strict control over the media.’
It added, ‘The government routinely warns against negative news coverage, and journalists are subject to harassment and assault by both state and nonstate actors. As a result, the Swazi media is marked by a high level of both official and self-censorship on political and royal matters.’
Last week, a survey of media freedom in Swaziland published by Swazi Media Commentary, concluded that in the 12 months to May 2012, there have been two dominant themes: censorship of the mainstream journalism and government attempts to silence social media, such as Facebook.
PRESS FREEDOM: NOTHING TO CELEBRATE