Detained journalists covering Swaziland marches

2012-04-11 14:23
Johannesburg - Two journalists have been detained in Swaziland, eNews Africa editor Chris Maroleng said on Wednesday.

The Swaziland Democracy Campaign (SDC) - a coalition of progressive organisations inside Swaziland - condemned the incident.

The SDC said the journalists were confronted at the Oshoek border post and then escorted to Mbabane, where their equipment was confiscated.

"The crew was on its way to report about the marches taking place in Swaziland to commemorate the 39th anniversary of the 1973 king's decree that... enslaved and imprisoned Swazis."

"I can confirm that two of our journalists were detained at a roadblock outside Mbabane shortly after 09:00 today," he said.

"What we are aware of is that the two are currently being questioned at a police station in the capital."

The passports of journalist Tumaole Mohlaoli and cameraman Meshack Dube were confiscated.

"They have been told that they are not under arrest, they are just being detained," said Maroleng.

No reason was given for this.

He said eNews Africa was monitoring the developments.

"We are committed to media freedom and we hope that the Swazi authorities will respect the basic human rights of our crew, who were deployed on a legitimate story to cover the activities in Swaziland."

It was unclear if their equipment was also seized.

"We demand freedom of expression and the right for journalists to freely cover the events in Swaziland, so that the world can know that the myth of a peaceful country, unquestioningly accepting royal autocracy in the name of Swazi culture, is a fallacy and lie," the SDC said in a statement.

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