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Activists raise concerns over rights violations in eSwatini

The monarchy is in the spotlight again following claims by two journalists, a politician and a prophet that they were threatened with treason after criticising King Mswati III.

FILE: King Mswati III of eSwatini, at Loftus Stadium for the inauguration of Cyril Ramaphosa as the sixth democratically elected president. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Human rights activists in eSwatini said unless oppressive laws were repealed, citizens would continue to be subjected to arbitrary violations and arrests.

The monarchy is in the spotlight again following claims by two journalists, a politician and a prophet that they were threatened with treason after criticising King Mswati III.

In a text, government spokesperson Percy Simelane denied this, saying that freedom of expression and media rights were protected in the country.

Political leader Sibahle Nkambule was forced to hand over his laptop and cellphone to police on Tuesday.

His lawyer Thulane Maseko believed that activists were being handled in line with a proclamation made by the late King Sobhuza in 1973.

“The situation of human rights in the country is being seriously undermined under the prevailing system, which is disguised as a no-party state, but it’s a one-party state. People are not allowed to express themselves.”