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Editor, lawyer freed in Swaziland

Mbabane -

A Swaziland editor and a rights lawyer who were arrested last month over an article said to be in contempt of court were freed on Sunday, after a judge nullified their arrest.

Judge Mumcy Dlamini rejected a warrant of arrest for Bheki Makhubu, the editor of The Nation magazine, and lawyer Thulani Maseko, who is a columnist at the magazine, saying it was not in line with the law.

The two were arrested on March 18, after the independent magazine published a report questioning the detention of a government vehicle inspector who was detained for a week without being charged.

The inspector had stopped a government vehicle driver who was driving a car without official documents.

In its February issue, the magazine criticised the arrest as an abuse of authority.

Authorities claimed the articles interfered with the court proceedings, and charged them with contempt of court.

The two had been remanded since their arrest.

Media groups in Swaziland operate under strict regulations, where criticism of King Mswati III and his government is not tolerated. - Sapa-AFP

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