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.
What is the state of academic freedom in 2015? Index on Censorship magazine’s summer issue takes a global vantage point to explore all the current threats – governmental, economic and social – faced by students, teachers and academics. Also in this issue: Sir Harold Evans, AC Grayling, Tom Holland and Xinran present their free-speech heroes.