Between April and May 2016, the Kingdom of Swaziland will have its human rights record reviewed by a peer of states in a process known as the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). This is the second time Swaziland will be reviewed under the UPR. Prior to this, civil society organisations are provided an opportunity to present their own report regarding the country’s human rights record. As part of this process, Judges for Judges (J4J), the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI), Lawyers for Lawyers (L4L) and the Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) prepared a joint report.
The report covers the organisations’ concerns regarding the continued suppression of freedom of expression, association and assembly in the country; violations of the rights of arrested and detained persons; the absence of the rule of law, lack of external and internal independence of the judiciary; as well as the failure of Swaziland to guarantee effective access to legal services provided by an independent legal profession as set out in the UN Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers.