Human rights lawyers arrested for sedition

Swaziland's most prominent human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, was arrested at his home on 3 June and charged with sedition, Muzi Masuku, of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa, told IRIN.

Masuku said the charges arose from Maseko's comments at a May Day rally in Swaziland's commercial city, Manzini, that the Lozitha Bridge, near the capital, Mbabane, should be renamed after the two saboteurs who were killed when they attempted to destroy it.

Musa Dlamini and Jack Govender were killed on 20 September 2009 after the explosive device prematurely exploded at the bridge, a few hundred metres from one of the palaces of King Mswati III, ruler of Swaziland and sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarch.

Maseko was a founding member of Swaziland's Lawyers for Human Rights and recently won a legal action compelling Swaziland to abide by its constitution and provide free education, but lost a suit to overturn a ban on the formation of political parties by a split decision in the Court of Appeals.