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Thulani Maseko

Thulani Maseko is a prominent human rights lawyer from Swaziland who was imprisoned for 14 months for his criticism of state corruption. Maseko is a senior member of Lawyers for Human Rights Swaziland and the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network. In 2014, Maseko authored a series of articles with editor Bheki Makhubu in The Nation, Swaziland’s only independent newspaper, criticizing the lack of judicial independence in the country. Maseko and Makhubu were subsequently arrested, arraigned without legal representation, and convicted of contempt of court. In August 2014, Maseko wrote a public letter to President Barack Obama asking for his release. After more than a year in prison, Maseko and Makhubu’s appeal was granted after the judge who had presided over their original trial, Judge Mpendulo Simelane, was charged with corruption and “defeating the ends of justice.”

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