The abhorrent, undemocratic actions of the government of the Kingdom of Eswatini are a clear
violation of the ACHPR principles. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
(ACHPR) Resolution of 2016, recognises the “importance of the internet in advancing human and
people’s rights in Africa, particularly the right to freedom of information and expression.”
The ACHPR/Res. 362 (LIX) 2016, also condemns the “emerging practice of State Parties
interrupting or limiting access to telecommunication services such as the internet, social media,
and messaging services.”
Additionally, UN experts and high-level officials — including the UN Secretary-General — formally
affirm that “blanket Internet shutdowns and generic blocking and filtering of services are
considered by United Nations human rights mechanisms to be in violation of international human
rights law”.
Eswatini Post and Telecommunications, Eswatini MTN and Eswatini Mobile, have a responsibility
to Eswatini citizens to keep the internet on.
Eswatini MTN, in line with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights
and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, has the added responsibility to respect
human rights, prevent or mitigate potential harms, and provide remedy for harms they cause or
contribute to.
Further, the UN Guiding Principles outlines that “states should take additional steps to protect
against human rights abuses by business enterprises that are owned or controlled by the State”.
Honourable Prime Minister, we thus call upon you to immediately end the internet shutdown and
restore internet access to all the citizens of Eswatini.
African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX)
Collaboration on International ICT Policy for East and Southern Africa (CIPESA)
Panos Institute Southern Africa
Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA)
cc: Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Chairperson, His Excellency
President Filipe J. Nyusi
cc: Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Incoming Chairperson, His
Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera
cc: The Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community (SADC),
Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax

Select target paragraph3