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Tuesday, 17 March 2009

SWAZI MEDIA FREEDOM UNDER ATTACK

Swaziland’s media freedom is under attack like never before.


The kingdom’s top media watchdog, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), has issued 15 ‘alerts’ about violations of media freedom in the first two months of this year (2009).


Usually, MISA doesn’t expect to issue 15 alerts in a whole year.


In a statement, MISA said, ‘Swazi media has continued to operate under very difficult conditions and the situation turned for the worst during these first two months of the year. This may signal an even worse period for the media in the coming months of the year.’


According to MISA, the violations were mainly around harassment of journalists, censorship, intimidation and assault of media persons.


Among them is the continuing saga of Swazi dissident Mfomfo Nkhambule, a weekly columnist with the Times of Swaziland, who has received threats for criticising King Mswati III.


Also, in February 2009, the government threatened to charge with sedition anyone who criticized the state of the nation address delivered by the King. This followed a number of statements by media commentators that the King’s speech was stale and lacked substance.


For a summary of the alerts issued click here.


See also

SWAZILAND RESTRICTS PRESS FREEDOM


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