In the latest act of increasing state repression, Swazi police rounded up and detained the five leaders of the Trade Union Congress of Swaziland (TUCOSWA) without any legal basis or court order supporting their actions. Freedom House calls once again on the government of the Kingdom of Swaziland to end these attacks on the constitutional rights of its citizens and to allow civil society groups to associate and assemble peacefully.
The recent sentencing of a prominent journalist in Swaziland is a blatant disregard for the constitutionally protected right to freedom of expression and is emblematic of King Mswati’s autocratic rule. Freedom House calls upon the government of Swaziland to withdraw all charges against Bheki Makhubu and stop its continued attack on its citizens’ political rights and civil liberties.
On the 40th anniversary of dictatorial rule in Swaziland, Freedom House calls upon the government of King Mswati to work with citizens to transform the political system into one that is credibly democratic.
Freedom House is deeply concerned by the recent repeal by Swaziland’s legislature of a vote of no-confidence following apparent pressure from the country’s king. This repeal, and the blatant disregard by the king for country’s constitution, epitomizes the increasing deterioration for the rule of law and respect for democratic governance in the country.
Freedom House released an analysis of democracy in sub-Saharan Africa showing that the region has experienced notable increases in freedom over the past generation, although more setbacks than gains were seen in 2006.
Since 2009, Freedom House supports civil society in Swaziland to ensure that a stronger citizen voice can be generated and then properly translated to the national and regional stage where political reforms will be negotiated by a cohesive and effective civil society.