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Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Swaziland police are to decide who can make announcements on state radio, SBIS.

It has told the broadcaster that it must stop allowing people to broadcast information about future meetings unless the police have given permission.

Jerome Dlamini, Deputy Director of the Swaziland Broadcasting and Information Services (SBIS), said this was to stop the radio station airing an announcement for a meeting that is prohibited. He said, ‘It’s the station’s policy not to make announcements without police permission.’

The police directive came to light when the Swaziland National Association of Teachers (SNAT) tried to get an announcement aired about a meeting this coming weekend.

There is a major crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Swaziland at present. Police are raiding homes under the pretence that they are searching for bombs or bomb-making equipment. Many activists are being harassed and hauled into police stations across the kingdom ruled by King Mswati III, sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch.

Police have already taken it upon themselves to decide which meeting may go ahead and which may not – sometimes even when the courts have sanctioned the meetings.

Barnabas Dlamini, Swaziland’s illegally-appointed Prime minister announced recently that his government was in control of content on SBIS and the government decided what could and could not be aired.

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