Swaziland: 2013 - Year of Repression in Swaziland

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There were no improvements on human rights in Swaziland in 2013: here is a month by month summary of repression in Swaziland.

January

Opponents of the Swaziland national election could face a charge of treason, Mzwandile Fakudze, deputy chair of the Elections Boundaries Commission (EBC), told the Swazi Observer, the newspaper in effect owned by King Mswati. In Swaziland, treason carries the death penalty.

February

About 60 Swaziland armed state police closed down a peaceful prayer meeting held by prodemocracy activists at the catholic cathedral in Manzini. It had been jointly organised by the Swaziland United Democratic Front (SUDF) and the Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC).

The prayer coincided with the launch of SUDF's and SDC's campaign for a people's government and the call of for a boycott of the undemocratic nation election in Swaziland later in the year. Police, acting without a court order, said they broke up the meeting because the congregation wanted to sabotage the kingdom's forthcoming election.

Swaziland's King Mswati III was named as one of the world's most predatory censors in a media freedom report published by Reporters Without Borders (RWB).

King Mswati was among a group of six heads of state who, 'are members of an exclusive club of authoritarian African leaders, some eccentric, others stern, who hold their countries in an iron grasp and keep a firm grip on news and information'. Swaziland ws placed at 155 among 179 nations in the world.

Swaziland's three national security chiefs joined a growing number of the ruling elite to receive bullet-proof cars. Umbutfo Swaziland Defence Force (USDF) Commander Lieutenant Sobantu Dlamini, Royal Swaziland Police (RSP) Commissioner Isaac Magagula and His Majesty's Correctional Services (HMCS) Commissioner Isaiah Mzuthini Ntshangase were reported to be in line to each receive BMW 2013 X5 cars at a total cost of E4 million (U$400,000.) They join about 20 members of the Swazi Royal family, headed by King Mswati III, who already have top-of-the-range Mercedes S600 Pullman Guard cars that can withstand an armoured missile assault.

March

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