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U.S. Department of State

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U.S. Dismayed by Harsh Sentence for Swazi Human Rights Lawyer and Journalist


Press Statement
Marie Harf
Deputy Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 25, 2014

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The United States is deeply dismayed by the sentencing of human rights lawyer Thulani Maseko and magazine editor Bheki Makhubu to two years in jail without the option of parole for a contempt of court conviction for publishing an article critical of the High Court of Swaziland.

Their already prolonged pretrial detention, conviction, and harsh sentence appear to be in conflict with Swaziland’s human rights obligations, particularly the right to freedom of expression, which is enshrined in Swaziland’s own constitution and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The United States continues to support and defend freedom of expression and is gravely concerned by the actions of the Swazi Government.

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