Freedom of expression loses in Swaziland case

I wrote this article on freedom of expression in Swaziland for the Mail & Guardian.

In April 2013, the Swaziland High Court handed down a decision with grave implications for freedom of expression. The Nation magazine, an independent publisher, and its editor Bheki Makhubu were found guilty of the crime of contempt of court, fined 400 000 emalangeni (about ZAR 400 000), and ordered to pay half of the fine within three days of the decision or be imprisoned for two years.

Aside from an immediate prison sentence, it is difficult to contemplate a sanction more chilling to freedom of expression. It is important to understand whether the high court was justified in imposing this extremely harsh penalty.

 

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