A weekly newsletter supporting human rights in Swaziland has published its 500th edition.
The Swaziland Newsletter which is compiled by Africa Contact, Denmark, in collaboration with Swazi Media Commentary is sent free-of-charge by email.
Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III as sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch. Political parties are not allowed to contest elections and opposition groups that advocate for democracy have been banned under the Suppression of Terrorism Act. Journalists have been jailed for writing articles critical of the ruling powers.
Advocacy group across the world including Amnesty International and Freedom House have consistently called on the King, who handpicks the Prime Minister and government ministers, to allow freedoms of speech, assembly and association. The King has been estimated by Business Insider to have a personal wealth of US$200 million, while seven in ten of his 1.3 million subjects live in abject poverty with incomes of less than US$2 a day.
The newsletter supports those who want to see a democratic Swaziland. Richard Rooney, a former associate professor and head of the Journalism and Mass Communication Department at the University of Swaziland, who edits the newsletter, said, ‘The newsletter consistently reports on the failures of King Mswati and his government to uphold the rule of law and the denial of basic rights to all sections of the Swazi population, including women, children, political activists, trade unionists, people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and LGBTI people.’
The 500th edition contains reports about the death of one of Swaziland’s foremost traditionalists and human rights violator; the public servants’ campaign for just salaries; poverty-stricken workers demanding the resignation of a cabinet minister; corruption at the forthcoming local elections; a controversial Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Bill that traditionalists want to gut; and a report that government is being sued for allowing illegal school beatings.
The newsletter is available by email here
SWAZILAND UPDATE ON HUMAN RIGHTS
A DECADE OF NEWS AND VIEWS
HUMAN RIGHTS YEAR-END REVIEW
PROGRESS TO SWAZI DEMOCRACY?