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.
In the latest issue of Index on Censorship magazine Spies, secrets and lies: How yesterday’s and today’s censors compare, we look at nations around the world, from South Korea to Argentina, and discuss if the worst excesses of censorship have passed or whether new techniques and technology make it even more difficult for the public to attain information.