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Southern Africa: Media Freedom Group Calls On SADC to Investigate Swaziland for ‘State-Sponsored’ Attacks On Journalists

A media rights group is asking on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to research Swaziland after a collection of ‘state-sponsored violations against journalists’.

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Zimbabwe chapter made the transfer after police attacked a Times of Swaziland journalist Andile Nsibande who was photographing them throughout a employees’ dispute the place they fired photographs.

It occurred throughout a protest over low salaries at Zheng Yong textile manufacturing facility in Nhlangano, Swaziland, the dominion just lately renamed Eswatini by its absolute monarch King Mswati III.

MISA reported in a press release, ‘Nsibande was attacked for taking photos of armed police officers and jail wardens attacking and firing photographs on the protesting employees who have been largely girls. Police officers demanded that Nsibande delete the photographs he had taken, after which proceeded to beat up the defenceless journalist.

‘Nsibande was later taken to hospital the place he obtained therapy.’

MISA referred to as the police assault, ‘an more and more worrying improvement involving state security brokers’. It added, ‘This assault is the newest in a collection of state-sponsored assaults against journalists within the kingdom of Eswatini, as Swaziland is now referred to as. On 7 February 2018, a photojournalist with the Swazi Observer was attacked after he took photos of a convoy of overcrowded autos transporting jail wardens.’

It added, ‘Another photojournalist with the Sunday Observer was attacked on 13 July 2018 after he took photos of government autos parked outdoors a deputy prime minister’s workplace. Police pressured the photojournalist to delete photos he had taken.’

MISA referred to as the assaults ‘a direct assault on the rights to free expression and press freedom as explicitly protected in Section 24 of Eswatini’s Constitution. Yet State security forces proceed to assault journalists with impunity.’

It acknowledged, ‘MISA Zimbabwe appeals to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to look into these continued state-sponsored violations against journalists. It is excessive time the regional body condemned the continued use of state security brokers to violate elementary rights such as the appropriate to free expression and the appropriate to entry info.’

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