Swaziland: Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu ordered to remain in custody

The ICJ consider that yesterday’s order to prolong the detention pending trial of Swazi human rights lawyer, Thulani Rudolf Maseko, and The Nation Magazine editor Bheki Makhubu, for 7 more days, was inconsistent with the right to liberty.

The ICJ sent a team of lawyers to observe yesterday’s court hearing in Mbabane because of concerns that not only was the arrest and detention seemingly arbitrary, but also that the charges for contempt of court may be inconsistent with the enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression.

In the light of its concerns in the case, including with regard to the respect for the rights to a fair hearing before an independent and impartial tribunal, the rights to liberty and the rights to freedom of expression, the ICJ intends to continue to monitor the proceedings against Thulani Rudolf Maseko and Bheki Makhubu, and will send an international observer to the next hearing which is expected to take place on 1 April 2014.

Further information:

swaziland-maseko and makhubu custody hearing-2014 (full press release)


Arnold Tsunga, Director, ICJ Africa Regional Programme, Arnold.tsunga(a)icj.org, +27 11 024 8268 or +27 73 131 8411

Martin Okumu-Masiga, Deputy Director, ICJ Africa Regional Programme, martin.okumu-masiaga(a)icj.org,  +27 78 234 9125.

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