Media Advisory: Swazi High Court hearing on constitutionality of sedition and terrorism laws

> Freedom of Expression, Assembly, and Association > Swaziland
Salc : Staff Writer

MBABANE: On Monday, 8 February 2016, the Swazi High Court will continue to hear arguments in the case brought to challenge the constitutionality of the Sedition and Subversive Activities and Suppression of Terrorism Acts.

WHERE: High Court, Mbabane, Swaziland
WHEN: 09h30, Monday, 8 February 2016

Four separate applications were filed in the High Court arguing that the Sedition and Subversive Activities and Suppression of Terrorism Acts are unconstitutional on the grounds that they unjustifiably infringe the rights to freedom of expression, association, and fair trial. The applications were filed by human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko, and political activists Mario Masuku, Maxwell Dlamini, Mfanawenkhosi Mntshali, Derrick Nkambule and Mlungisi Makhanya, who had all been arrested and charged with sedition, subversion, and/or terrorism after speaking or protesting at various events. The applicants argue that the definitions of sedition, subversion and terrorism in the legislation are overbroad and are used to criminalise legitimate forms of expression and dissent. They also argue that the legislative provisions which allow the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to declare an organisation a terrorist organisation infringe members’ rights to freedom of association and to a fair trial.

The matters were consolidated to be heard together, and commenced before the High Court in September 2015.

For more information:

Caroline James, Freedom of Expression Lawyer, SALC: +27 (0) 10 596 8538; +27 83 784 8496; carolinej@salc.org.za