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By Marta Cooper / 26 March, 2012
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 last Monday against funding cuts. Last week Swazi senator Thuli Msane claimed online activism was spiralling out of control and disrespecting Mswati III.Tags: censorship | internet freedom | lèse majesté | press freedom | social media | Sub-Saharan Africa | Swaziland
The winter issue of Index on Censorship magazine brings together articles from writers including the Bishop of Bradford, Salil Tripathi, Samira Ahmed and Kaya Genc. There’s an interview with Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti ahead of the opening of her new play, and 10 years after Bezhti; while cartoonist Martin Rowson writes and draws about how comedy and religious offence come into conflict.