Thulani Maseko

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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.

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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.


  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". Retrieved May 26, 2019.