Africa, censorship, Facebook, internet freedom, Internet World Stats, King Mswati III, lèse majesté, Mgwagwa Gamedze, Mswati III, online activism, press freedom, social media, Sub-Saharan Africa, Swaziland, Thuli Msane, Twitter, United Nations
Swaziland: Social media lese majeste law planned
Swaziland’s justice minister has told the country’s senate that the government is finalising a law that would make it illegal to criticise the King Mswati III on social media networks.
“We will be tough on those who write bad things about the king on Twitter and Facebook,” Mgwagwa Gamedze said.
Internet penetration is low in Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarchy, but social networks have been used to organise public demonstrations, including a student protest against funding cuts.
Swazi senator Thuli Msane claimed online activism was spiralling out of control and disrespecting Mswati III.
“Most people have the Internet on their phones – I think almost everyone in Swaziland is on Facebook.”
[…] only a little over 50,000 people in Swaziland have a Facebook account out of a population of 1,3 million, according to Internet World Stats, and 95,000 have an Internet connection. And, more seriously, two thirds of the population survive on less than a dollar a day, many on food aid from the United Nations. They are hardly going to use what little money they have on mobile phones.
—Let them eat cake, Princess Sikhanyiso
- Avoiding a twitter revolution in Swaziland (evanlieberman.org)
- Poll: Swazi King Among Africa’s Least Popular Leaders (voanews.com)
- Diamond Jubilee: Invitation to controversy (nzherald.co.nz)
- King of Swaziland to attend Queen’s lunch (itv.com)
- King of Swaziland’s invitation to Jubilee lunch sparks protests (itv.com)
- King Happy With Natie Kirsh’s Success Story (observer.org.sz)
- $46m jet plane gift from Kuwait, claims King of Swaziland Mswati III (arabtimesonline.com)
From → The blog