An international campaign called #swazijustice to highlight human rights deficiencies in Swaziland was launched in October. To begin with the campaign is focussing on the case of magazine editor Bheki Makhubu and human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, who were jailed for two years for writing and publishing articles in the Nation magazine critical of the Swazi judiciary. At the end of 2014, the two men remain in jail with little prospect of release.
The campaign is one of the stories covered in the latest quarterly compilation from Swazi Media Commentary of news and views on human rights in the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Swaziland: Striving for Freedom: Volume 16 is available to download free of charge from scribd dot com
There have been other advancements in the past three months, including the United States confirmation that Swaziland would no longer enjoy trade benefits under the Africa Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) because the kingdom has failed to keep its promises to reform workers’ rights and to move closer to becoming a democratic state. Already textile firms have retrenched workers and up to 17,000 jobs are in jeopardy, because of the Swazi Government’s refusal to reform.
Elsewhere it was reported that human trafficking was rife in Swaziland and at least 7,000 people are estimated to be living in modern day slavery. Swaziland has also been labelled as one of the hungriest countries in the world with 35.8 per cent of Swaziland’s 1.3 million population undernourished.
This compilation brings together posts that originally appeared on the Swazi Media Commentary website. Swazi Media Commentary website has no physical base and is completely independent of any political faction and receives no income from any individual or organisation. People who contribute ideas or write for it do so as volunteers and receive no payment.
Swazi Media Commentary is published online – updated most days – bringing information, comment and analysis in support of democracy in the kingdom.
January to March 2014 compilation
April to June 2014 compilation
July to September compilation