Challenging anti-terrorism laws in Swaziland: When the judiciary becomes the stumbling blockPosted: 11 May, 2016 Filed under: Kudzani Ndlovu | Tags: Amnesty International, colonial legacy, constitution, democracy, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression and information, human rights, monarchy, Peoples United Democratic Movement, repression, Sediction Act, STA, Swaziland, Swaziland Solidarity Network, Swaziland Youth Congress, terrorism, Thulani Maseko 1 Comment
Author: Kudzani Ndlovu
Part-time lecturer, Lupane State University, Zimbabwe
On 8 and 9 February 2016 the pro-democracy movement in Swaziland converged at the High Court in Mbabane to attend a hearing on the constitutionality of the country’s two draconian and repressive laws – the Suppression of Terrorism Act No. 3 of 2008 (STA) and the British colonial era 1938 Sedition and Subversive Activities Act (Sedition Act) – which continue to be used by the state to stifle opposition and silence critics of the authoritarian monarchy.
Many, especially those outside Africa’s last absolute monarchy, had labelled this hearing as ‘historic’ but local activists remained less optimistic knowing that most of the country’s judges have sold their independence for thirty pieces of silver. The King’s influence in the appointment of judges has seriously undermined the independence of the judiciary. The Constitution of Swaziland provides that the judges are appointed by the King after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). Judges are answerable to the King and hence they can never claim to be independent. It will only take rabid denialists and anarchists to argue that there is hope of an independent judiciary in Swaziland under the current system.
This is no magic trick: I can make you disappearPosted: 29 August, 2014 Filed under: Thato Motaung | Tags: closed state, enforced disappearances, Eritrea, International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance, Keren, political prisoners, repression, ternational Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance Leave a comment
Author: Thato Motaung
Researcher, Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria
International Day of the Victims of Enforced Disappearance: 30 August 2014
To cite magic here wrongly alludes to fantasy and enchantment. The reality is people disappear without warning and information in Eritrea. There is no make-believe; from one day to the next, a person can vanish into thin air.
The International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (2006) defines enforced disappearances as:
“… the arrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty by agents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with the authorization, support or acquiescence of the State”.
Enforced disappearances are followed by the State’s refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty or the concealment of the fate or whereabouts of disappeared persons. Enforced disappearances, which constitute a crime against humanity, in effect place the ‘disappeared’ outside the protection of the law.