Individual scores:

2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 2

Average score:




The right to freedom of expression is enforced and citizens,
including journalists, are practised without fear.

There has been a noticeable increase in the exercise of freedom of
expression, both by individuals and the media. It is more common
now to hear people challenging government and speaking out. The
media is giving voice to a greater diversity of opinions. During a
recent workers’ strike, trade unionists and other progressives were
granted considerable airtime on state television: “They wouldn’t
have had such a platform in the past.”
This increase in free expression can be credited, in part, to the
adoption of the Constitution, which has created greater public
awareness about freedom of expression. The fact that the current
government is more tolerant of free expression and freedom of the
media has also contributed to the increased openness.
But this new openness is not exercised without fear and there remain considerable restraints on the practice of freedom of expression. “People still talk in hushed tones.” Some panellists spoke of
being regularly followed by police, and having their work monitored. Government spies “always” attend public events where their
presence alone “is enough to just shut you up.” These tactics of
intimidation result in reduced criticism of the ruling elite and less
political activism.
People can suffer retribution for speaking out against the status
African Media Barometer - Swaziland 2007


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