Eswatini specifies journalist for commission of terrorist acts
The Eswatini government has specified Swaziland News editor Zweli Martin Dlamini as a terrorist and also specified his publication.
In a legal notice 261 of 2022, Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini, declared that Zweli and Swaziland News were “specified with immediate effect in that these entities knowingly facilitate the commission of terrorist acts”.
Zweli believes that his specification and that of his publication is an assault on freedom of expression and of the media.
Zweli fled the country to live in exile following reported attacks on him by government agents.
The Eswatini government has also approached the courts in South Africa in an effort to stop Swaziland News from publishing some investigative stories.
The freedom of expression environment in Eswatini has been on the decline for a while now and the specification of Zweli Martin Dlamini and Swaziland News as terrorist marks further deterioration in democracy in that country.
MISA demands that the government of Eswatini de-escalates tensions and recognise the media as partners rather than enemies.
Specifying a journalist and a media house as terrorist has a chilling effect on the exercise of freedom of expression and of the media in Eswatini.
The government must rethink its approach on this issue.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1992. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.
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Journalist Zweli Martin Dlamini
Prime Minister Cleopas Sipho Dlamini