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Swaziland: Striving for Freedom. Vol 1: January 2013

Swaziland: Striving for Freedom. Vol 1: January 2013

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Published by Swazi Media
Swaziland: Striving for Freedom, as seen through the pages of Swazi Media Commentary, Vol. 1, January 2013. Compiled by Richard Rooney.

The US State Department reporting on human rights in Swaziland in 2011 said, ‘The three main human rights abuses were police use of excessive force, including use of torture and beatings; a breakdown of the judiciary system and judicial independence; and discrimination and abuse of women and children.

‘Other significant human rights problems included extrajudicial killings by security forces; arbitrary arrests and lengthy pretrial detention; arbitrary interference with privacy and home; restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, and association; prohibitions on political activity and harassment of political activists; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community; harassment of labor leaders; restrictions on worker rights; child labor; and mob violence.’

Clearly, there is lot of work for democracy activists to do. But, there is a growing campaign inside Swaziland for democracy and this is getting noticed on an international scale. As each month passes it becomes more difficult for the king and his ‘traditionalist’ supporters in the kingdom to maintain the fiction that Swaziland is free.

Social media will play a large part in getting the message for freedom out. One of these is Swazi Media Commentary which was launched in 2007 and is one of the longest running blog or social media sites supporting the campaign for democracy in Swaziland.

Swaziland: Striving For Freedom is the first volume of information, commentary and analysis on human rights taken from articles first published on the Swazi Media Commentary blogsite in 2013. Each month throughout the coming year a digest of articles will be published bringing together in one place material that is rarely found elsewhere.

In this first volume you can read about how the Swazi state wants to prosecute for treason those campaigners who advocate a boycott of the non-democratic national election (the death penalty is available for those convicted); how traditionalists want to continue forcing children into marriages (something that is called paedophilia in civilised countries) and how, because King Mswati has ruined the kingdom’s economy, one in ten of his subjects will go hungry this year.

Also included are reports on attacks by the state on women who wish to wear mini-skirts (they face jail time under a law made in 1889); how a pregnant woman was sent to prison because her mother thought she needed to be punished, although she had committed no crime, and how police routinely use torture.

This month there is also an extensive look at press standards in Swaziland and how newspapers deliberately lie to their readers in pursuit of profits.

Swaziland: Striving for Freedom, as seen through the pages of Swazi Media Commentary, Vol. 1, January 2013. Compiled by Richard Rooney.

The US State Department reporting on human rights in Swaziland in 2011 said, ‘The three main human rights abuses were police use of excessive force, including use of torture and beatings; a breakdown of the judiciary system and judicial independence; and discrimination and abuse of women and children.

‘Other significant human rights problems included extrajudicial killings by security forces; arbitrary arrests and lengthy pretrial detention; arbitrary interference with privacy and home; restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, and association; prohibitions on political activity and harassment of political activists; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination against members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community; harassment of labor leaders; restrictions on worker rights; child labor; and mob violence.’

Clearly, there is lot of work for democracy activists to do. But, there is a growing campaign inside Swaziland for democracy and this is getting noticed on an international scale. As each month passes it becomes more difficult for the king and his ‘traditionalist’ supporters in the kingdom to maintain the fiction that Swaziland is free.

Social media will play a large part in getting the message for freedom out. One of these is Swazi Media Commentary which was launched in 2007 and is one of the longest running blog or social media sites supporting the campaign for democracy in Swaziland.

Swaziland: Striving For Freedom is the first volume of information, commentary and analysis on human rights taken from articles first published on the Swazi Media Commentary blogsite in 2013. Each month throughout the coming year a digest of articles will be published bringing together in one place material that is rarely found elsewhere.

In this first volume you can read about how the Swazi state wants to prosecute for treason those campaigners who advocate a boycott of the non-democratic national election (the death penalty is available for those convicted); how traditionalists want to continue forcing children into marriages (something that is called paedophilia in civilised countries) and how, because King Mswati has ruined the kingdom’s economy, one in ten of his subjects will go hungry this year.

Also included are reports on attacks by the state on women who wish to wear mini-skirts (they face jail time under a law made in 1889); how a pregnant woman was sent to prison because her mother thought she needed to be punished, although she had committed no crime, and how police routinely use torture.

This month there is also an extensive look at press standards in Swaziland and how newspapers deliberately lie to their readers in pursuit of profits.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Swazi Media on Feb 01, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/15/2013

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 richard0Swaziland: Striving for Freedom
0
 
Swaziland:Striving forFreedom
 
 As seen through the pages of Swazi MediaCommentary, compiled by Richard Rooney 
 
Volume 1: January 2013
 
 
Swaziland: Striving for Freedom
Page 1
 
INTRODUCTION
This year, 2013, may prove to be a pivotal one in the campaign for freedom in Swaziland. Anational election is due sometime in the next twelve months (we must wait for King MswatiIII to tell us when it can take place) and this will focus some international attention on thetiny kingdom.King Mswati rules as sub-
Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch and the ‘parliament’ that
will come into effect after the election is simply his plaything. He chooses the PrimeMinister, the cabinet and most of the people who will sit in the Senate or House of Assembly.
He has control of the judiciary and despite a ‘constitution’ that came into effect in 2006 that
purports to offer his subjects a Bill of Rights he enjoys complete control. No decisions can betaken without his permission.As a consequence, political parties are banned and freedoms of speech, the media andassociation are severely curtailed.
Seven in ten of the king’s one million subjects live in
abject poverty earning less than US$2 a day, while he has13 palaces and a private fortune of at least US$200 million.The US State Department reporting on human rights in Swaziland in 2011
said, ‘The three
main human rights abuses were police use of excessive force, including use of torture andbeatings; a breakdown of the judiciary system and judicial independence; and discriminationand abuse of women and children.
‘Other significant human rights problems included extrajudicial killings by security forces;
arbitrary arrests and lengthy pretrial detention; arbitrary interference with privacy and home;restrictions on freedom of speech, assembly, and association; prohibitions on political activityand harassment of political activists; trafficking in persons; societal discrimination againstmembers of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community; harassment of 
labor leaders; restrictions on worker rights; child labor; and mob violence.’
 Clearly, there is lot of work for democracy activists to do. But, there is a growing campaigninside Swaziland for democracy and this is getting noticed on an international scale. As each
month passes it becomes more difficult for the king and his ‘traditionalist’ supporters in
thekingdom to maintain the fiction that Swaziland is free.The election is a perfect opportunity for prodemocracy advocates to focus the attention of those who rarely notice Swaziland and point out the deficiencies in the kingdom and to gathersupport for change.Social media will play a large part in getting the message for freedom out. One of these isSwazi Media Commentary which was launched in 2007 and is one of the longest runningblog or social media sites supporting the campaign for democracy in Swaziland.
Swaziland: Striving For Freedom
is the first volume of information, commentary andanalysis on human rights taken from articles first published on the Swazi Media Commentaryblogsite in 2013. Each month throughout the coming year a digest of articles will bepublished bringing together in one place material that is rarely found elsewhere.
 
Swaziland: Striving for Freedom
Page 2
 
In this first volume you can read about how the Swazi state wants to prosecute for treasonthose campaigners who advocate a boycott of the non-democratic national election (the deathpenalty is available for those convicted); how traditionalists want to continue forcing childreninto marriages (something that is called paedophilia in civilised countries) and how, because
King Mswati has ruined the kingdom’s economy
, one in ten of his subjects will go hungrythis year.Also, available are reports on attacks by the state on women who wish to wear mini-skirts(they face jail time under a law made in 1889); how a pregnant woman was sent to prisonbecause her mother thought she needed to be punished, although she had committed nocrime, and how police routinely use torture.This month there is also an extensive look at press standards in Swaziland and hownewspapers deliberately lie to their readers in pursuit of profits.Swazi Media Commentary has no physical base and is completely independent of anypolitical faction and receives no income from any individual or organisation. People whocontribute ideas or write for it do so as volunteers and receive no payment.Swazi Media Commentary will continue to be published online
 – 
updated most days
 – 
 bringing information, comment and analysis unavailable elsewhere.We hope you find this compilation of articles useful and will want to visit us online.
 Richard Rooney
Swazi Media Commentary Containing information and commentaryabout human rights in SwazilandClick Here 

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