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The ABA is disappointed to learn that attorney Thulani Maseko and editor Bheki Makhubu were convicted and sentenced last week for contempt of court in Swaziland. They were charged with the offense in a proceeding reportedly marred by procedural irregularities. The charges were in apparent retaliation for advocating for basic human rights in Swaziland, including the right to a trial by an independent tribunal.
The ABA reiterates that Mr. Maseko and Mr. Makhubu have the right under international law to publish their opinions concerning the administration of justice and the safeguarding of human rights in Swaziland. The ABA is deeply troubled by the prosecution of an attorney in apparent retaliation for expressing his concern over lack of impartiality in the judiciary, and it views these convictions as a serious threat to the independence of the legal profession in Swaziland.
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