Swaziland Government Demonstrates Its Support of Free Speech

About 2,000 protesters turned out to highlight the lack of democracy in Swaziland in August. Swaziland was being visited at the time by heads of state as part of an international conference on sustainable development.

Swaziland made the protesters’ point for them by using what the BBC described as “heavily armed paramilitary police and soldiers [who] fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse” the crowd.

Of course the sustainable development conference included such stalwart supporters of democracy as Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe — perhaps Mugabe was taking notes on Swaziland’s technique for later application back home.


Swazi protesters and police clash. The BBC, August 13, 2003.

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