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Journalist and human rights lawyer in Swaziland receive two-year prison sentences

31 July, 2014Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu, have both been sentenced to two years of prison without benefit of bail. Following their arbitrary detention since March 2014, the two men were convicted on 17 July 2014 for contempt of court four months after their initial arrest. Contempt of court ordinarily carries a 30 day sentence or a fine of 2,200 Euros in Swaziland.

Their unfair conviction and sentencing can only be seen as sanctions on human rights activities in the country and proves judicial complicity in harassment

said Fernando Lopes, Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.

Maseko is a prominent human rights lawyer and a senior member of Lawyers for Human Rights Swaziland and has a close working relationship with the labour movement in Swaziland. Makhubu is a columnist and Editor-in-Chief of The Nation, considered as the sole independent newspaper of the country.

Background on the sentence: Convictions confound Swazi reform hopes