Journalists in Swaziland Harassed

  July 17, 2009 at 4:40 pm by

The International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) has stated that journalists working for the Swazi Observer are being harassed by government authorities due to reports they wrote about the criminal behavior of the son of a prominent bishop, who happens to be an advisor to King Mswati III.

In December 2008, the editor of the Swazi Observer was beaten and stabbed by the bishop’s son. Reporters from the Observer reported on this event, and since then have received numerous threats from governmental authorities, who are demanding that the journalists cease their coverage of this event. An anonymous journalist, who requests to stay anonymous due to personal safety concerns, told the Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) that they have “received disturbing calls from authorities who have warned them against continued publication of stories about the bishop’s son”. The newspaper is owned by King Mswati himself, and there are suspicions that the bishop may have complained to the government about the reports.

Just this week, the bishop’s son vandalized a night club after going on a drinking binge with his wife, who is a police-officer. The son was later handed over to police by the bishop himself. This incident has been confirmed by police. Currently, the son is out on bail for the stabbing and beating of the news editor of the Swazi Observer in December of 2008. The court case is currently pending.

For more information about MISA, please visit this website.

To read about, and to discuss King Mswati III, please visit this thread.

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