Thulani Maseko

Last updated

Thulani Rudolf Maseko is a Swaziland human rights lawyer. [1] He was born at Luhleko, a place near Bhunya in Swaziland's Manzini Region.

Human rights Inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled

Human rights are moral principles or norms that describe certain standards of human behaviour and are regularly protected as natural and legal rights in municipal and international law. They are commonly understood as inalienable, fundamental rights "to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being" and which are "inherent in all human beings", regardless of their nation, location, language, religion, ethnic origin, or any other status. They are applicable everywhere and at every time in the sense of being universal, and they are egalitarian in the sense of being the same for everyone. They are regarded as requiring empathy and the rule of law and imposing an obligation on persons to respect the human rights of others, and it is generally considered that they should not be taken away except as a result of due process based on specific circumstances; for example, human rights may include freedom from unlawful imprisonment, torture, and execution.

Lawyer legal professional who helps clients and represents them in a court of law

A lawyer or attorney is a person who practices law, as an advocate, attorney, attorney at law, barrister, barrister-at-law, bar-at-law, canonist, canon lawyer, civil law notary, counsel, counselor, counsellor, solicitor, legal executive, or public servant preparing, interpreting and applying law, but not as a paralegal or charter executive secretary. Working as a lawyer involves the practical application of abstract legal theories and knowledge to solve specific individualized problems, or to advance the interests of those who hire lawyers to perform legal services.

Manzini Region Place in Eswatini

Manzini is a region of Eswatini, located in the center-west of the country. It has an area of 4,093.59 km² and a population of 355,945 (2017), and is divided into 16 tinkhundla. Its administrative center is Manzini. It borders all three other regions: Hhohho in the north, Lubombo in the east, and Shiselweni in the south. It is bordered by the Mpumalanga province in South Africa to the west.

On 18 March 2014, Thulani was jailed for contempt of court after criticising Swaziland's judicial system. [2] [3] [4] [5]

In April 2014 PUDEMO General Secretary Mlungisi Makhanya was arrested for wearing a party T-shirt to protest the incarceration of Thulani Maseko and journalist Bheki Makhubu. [6] [7]

Peoples United Democratic Movement

The People's United Democratic Movement is the largest opposition political party in Swaziland. It is a pro-democracy socialist party. Formed in 1983 at the University of Swaziland, it is led by activist Mario Masuku. The Swazi government has been monitoring PUDEMO closely since it launched the Ulibambe Lingashoni campaign, which aims for a "total liberation" of Swaziland, and has recently cracked down heavily on even small manifestations of support for PUDEMO, such as the death in custody of PUDEMO member Sipho Jele, who was arrested for wearing a PUDEMO t-shirt in May 2010.

In August 2014, Maseko wrote to US President Barack Obama from prison, seeking his intervention ahead of the 2014 United States–Africa Leaders Summit. [5]

Barack Obama 44th president of the United States

Barack Hussein Obama II is an American attorney and politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, he was the first African American to be elected to the presidency. He previously served as a U.S. senator from Illinois from 2005 to 2008 and an Illinois state senator from 1997 to 2004.

United States–Africa Leaders Summit

The United States–Africa Leaders Summit was an international summit held in Washington D.C. from August 4–6, 2014. Leaders from fifty African states attended the three-day summit, which was hosted by U.S. President Barack Obama. The summit primarily focused on trade, investment and security of the continent. Leaders from 50 of the 54 existing African sovereign nations were invited to attend. After the summit, the White House produced a number of Fact Sheets that summarized major outcomes.

Maseko was released from prison on 30 July 2015. He had been declared a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. [8]

Prisoner of conscience anyone imprisoned because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, or political views. It also refers to those who have been imprisoned and/or persecuted for the non-violent expression of their conscientiously held beliefs

Prisoner of conscience (POC) is a term coined by Peter Benenson in a 28 May 1961 article for the London Observer newspaper. Most often associated with the human rights organisation Amnesty International, the term can refer to anyone imprisoned because of their race, sexual orientation, religion, or political views. It also refers to those who have been imprisoned and/or persecuted for the non-violent expression of their conscientiously held beliefs.

Amnesty International London-based international human rights organization

Amnesty International is a British non-governmental organization focused on human rights. The organization claims it has more than seven million members and supporters around the world.

Related Research Articles

Human rights in Ethiopia

According to the U.S. Department of State's human rights report for 2004 and similar sources, the Ethiopian government's human rights "remained poor; although there were improvements, serious problems remained". The report listed numerous cases where police and security forces are said to have harassed, illegally detained, tortured, and/or killed individuals, who were members of opposition groups or accused of being insurgents. Thousands of suspects remained in detention without charge, and lengthy pretrial detention continued to be a problem. Prison conditions were poor. The government often ignores citizens' privacy rights and laws regarding search warrants. Freedom House agrees; the site gave Ethiopia a six out of seven, which means that it is not free. Although fewer journalists have been arrested, detained, or punished in 2004 than in previous years, the government nevertheless continues to restrict freedom of the press. The government limits freedom of assembly, particularly for members of opposition groups, and security forces have used excessive force to break up demonstrations. Violence and discrimination against women continue to be problems. Female genital mutilation is widespread, although efforts to curb the practice have had some effect. The economic and sexual exploitation of children continues, as does human trafficking. Forced labor, particularly among children, is a persistent problem. Low-level government interference with labor unions continues. Although the government generally respected the free exercise of religion, local authorities at times interfere with religious practice. In order to improve Ethiopia's image, they hired US agencies to improve Ethiopia's image for $2.5 million. According to report of amnesty international 2016/2017 prolonged protests over political, economic, social and cultural grievances were met with excessive and lethal force by police. The report added that the crackdown on the political opposition saw mass arbitrary arrests, torture and other ill-treatment, unfair trials and violations of the rights to freedom of expression and association. On 9 October, the government announced a state of emergency, which led to further human rights violations. In September 2018, more than 20 have died in ethnic based attacks. Protestors outside the capital have been calling for the prime minister to issue a state of emergency to prevent further killings.

Anwar al-Bunni is a Syrian human rights lawyer who has defended clients such as Riad al-Turk, Riad Seif, the owner of The Lamplighter,, Kurdish protesters, and "dozens of others."

Human rights in Eswatini

Eswatini, Africa's last remaining absolute monarchy, was rated by Freedom House from 1972 to 1992 as "Partly Free"; since 1993, it has been considered "Not Free". During these years the country's Freedom House rating for "Political Rights" has slipped from 4 to 7, and "Civil Liberties" from 2 to 5. Political parties have been banned in Eswatini since 1973. A 2011 Human Rights Watch report described the country as being "in the midst of a serious crisis of governance", noting that "[y]ears of extravagant expenditure by the royal family, fiscal indiscipline, and government corruption have left the country on the brink of economic disaster". In 2012, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) issued a sharp criticism of Eswatini's human-rights record, calling on the Swazi government to honor its commitments under international law in regards to freedom of expression, association, and assembly. HRW notes that owing to a 40% unemployment rate and low wages that oblige 80% of Swazis to live on less than US$2 a day, the government has been under "increasing pressure from civil society activists and trade unionists to implement economic reforms and open up the space for civil and political activism" and that dozens of arrests have taken place "during protests against the government's poor governance and human rights record".

Alan Shadrake is a British author and former journalist, who was convicted in Singapore in 2010 of contempt of court for scandalising the Singapore judicial system, through his published views on the country's criminal justice system. Following a failed appeal, he served 5½ weeks in prison.

Nasrin Sotoudeh prominent human rights female lawyer in Iran

Nasrin Sotoudeh is a human rights lawyer in Iran. She has represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential elections as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crimes committed when they were minors. Her clients have included journalist Isa Saharkhiz, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, and Heshmat Tabarzadi, the head of the banned opposition group National Democratic Front. She has also represented women arrested for appearing in public without a hijab, which is a punishable offence in Iran.

Vera Mlangazua Chirwa is a Malawian born lawyer and human and civil rights activist. She was Malawi's first female lawyer and a founding member of the Malawi Congress Party and the Nyasaland African Women's League. She fought for multiparty democratic rule in Malawi and was charged with treason, tried and sentenced to death by President Kamuzu Banda. She spent 12 years on death row. She was married to lawyer Orton Chirwa, Malawian Minister of Justice and Attorney General, who later died in prison.

Haitham al-Maleh Syrian human rights activist

Haitham al-Maleh is a Syrian human rights activist and former judge. He is a critic of the current Syrian government under Bashar al-Assad and has been imprisoned by the Syrian government because he was calling for constitutional reforms. Maleh became an important opposition figure in the Syrian Civil War.

Ralph Kasambara is a Malawian lawyer, who served as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General since April 2012. He also served as the former Attorney General under the administration of Bingu wa Mutharika during the early part of the administration. After which he became the legal representative of the then Malawian vice-president, Joyce Banda. Kasambara has been a critic of the administration of Bingu wa Mutharika, being vocal about grounds for impeachment and commenting that "wants to be a dictator". He was jailed in February 2012, after thugs went to his office with petrol bombs in an attempted arson plot, he called the police, together with supporters and restrained the perpetrators. Instead he was arrested for kidnapping and torture of the thugs. He was later released on bail, and then arrested again over the faulty bail procedures.

Abdulelah Haider Shaye, or Abd al-Ilah Haydar Al-Sha’i, is a prominent Yemeni investigative journalist best known for his reporting of the December 17, 2009 U.S. cruise missile strike on al-Majalah in southern Yemen, his interviews with al-Qaeda leaders, and the controversial nature of his arrest and imprisonment in 2011.

Nguyễn Văn Hải, better known by his pen name Điếu Cày, is a Vietnamese blogger who has been prosecuted by the government of Vietnam for tax evasion and "disseminating anti-state information and materials". His imprisonment was protested by several international human rights organizations, and Amnesty International considers him a prisoner of conscience. On 21 October 2014, he was released.

Lê Quốc Quân is a Vietnamese human rights lawyer, democracy activist and prominent Catholic blogger. He was arrested by the Vietnamese government on charges of tax evasion on 27 December 2012, convicted on 2 October 2013, and sentenced to 30 months in prison. The arrest was condemned by international human rights organizations and the US government.

Mam Sonando Cambodian radio journalist

Mam Sonando is a Cambodian radio journalist and politician with French dual citizenship. He is the owner and director of Phnom Penh's Beehive Radio, which the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) described in 2012 as "one of Cambodia's few independent news outlets". He also acts as a political commentator for the station.

Human rights in Lesotho

Human rights in Lesotho, a nation of 2,067,000 people completely surrounded by South Africa, is a contentious issue. In its 2012 Freedom in the World report, Freedom House declared the country "Partly Free". According to the United States Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, which produces annual human rights reports on the country, the most pressing human rights issues are the use of torture, poor prison conditions, and the abuse of women and children.

Intiqam Kamil oglu Aliyev is a human rights defender and lawyer in Azerbaijan.

Makila James American diplomat

Makila James is an American diplomat who has been a career Foreign Service Officer within the U.S. State Department. Beginning in 1988, she has had a series of postings and roles related to the Caribbean and Africa, leading to her being the Director of the Office of Caribbean Affairs from 2009 to 2012. She then served as the United States Ambassador to Swaziland from 2012 to 2016.

Maseko is an African surname that may refer to

Thulani is a South African given name that may refer to

Senteni Masango, known after her marriage as Inkhosikati LaMasango, was the eighth wife of Mswati III of Eswatini.

References

  1. "Top rights lawyer arrested". News24. 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  2. James, Caroline (2014-04-14). "Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu Contempt of Court Case: Timeline of Proceedings". Southern Africa Litigation Centre. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  3. Maseko, Thulani. "Why We Are Jailed". The Nation. Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  4. "Rex v Nation Magazine and Others". Swaziland Legal Information Institute. 2014. Archived from the original on 2014-08-26. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  5. 1 2 Maseko, Thulani (2014-08-03). "Letter to Barack Obama from a Swaziland jail cell". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  6. "Swaziland: Africa′s last absolute monarchy". Deutsche Welle. 2014-07-14. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  7. "MISA condemns arrest of human rights lawyer". IFEX - Media Institute of Southern Africa. 2009-06-10. Retrieved 2014-10-19.
  8. ""I'm dreaming" – how it feels when your husband comes home". www.amnesty.org. Retrieved May 26, 2019.