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.
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The autumn issue of Index on Censorship magazine brings together articles from writers including Amartya Sen, Philip Pullman, Jonathan Dimbleby and Peter Kellner, and covers countries including: India, China, Brazil, South Africa, Honduras, Colombia, Afghanistan and Mali. Under discussion are development and free speech; ignored voices; digital media; reporters under fire in South America.