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Swaziland: Unfair Trial, Arbitrary Detention and Judicial Impropriety

Summary & Comment: Although being released by the Supreme Court part way through their 2 year sentences for `contempt of court', Bheki Makhubu and Thulani Maseko’s whole legal procedure was improper in every way, according to the ICJ. There have been many judicial cases like this; the monarch King Swati keeps hold on all powers in one way or another. Protests by Unions and others are repressed. JK

Author: International Commission of Jurists Date Written: 30 July 2015
Primary Category: Human Rights Document Origin: International Commission of Jurists
Secondary Category: Human Rights Source URL: http://www.icj.org/
Key Words: Swaziland, courts, illegal procedures; King Swati

African Charter Article #7: Everyone shall have the right to have their cause heard including the right to appeal, to legal defence, and to the presumption of innnocence. (Click for full text...)

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The International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) recently released its trial observation report of the trial in the High Court in Mbabane, Swaziland, in The King v The Nation Magazine, Bheki Makhubu, Swaziland Independent Publishers (Pty) Ltd, and Thulani Maseko. Makhubu and Maseko were both sentenced to two years imprisonment in July 2014 for ‘contempt of court’ and have recently been released.

The report concludes that the arrest and detention, trial, conviction and sentencing of the defendants involved multiple violations of the Constitution of the Kingdom of Swaziland, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the Principles and Guidelines on the Right to a fair Trial in Africa and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
For the full report click here

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