No media freedom

A small enclave within South Africa that was renamed the Kingdom of Eswatini in 2018, the former Swaziland is an absolute monarchy that prevents journalists from working freely. No court is allowed to prosecute or try members of the government, but any criticism of the regime is liable to be the subject of a prosecution. A ubiquitous obsession with secrecy makes it hard to access information and the state wields total control over the media. The only privately-owned TV channel belongs to the king’s family and criticism of the authorities is severely punished thanks to the existence of dozens of draconian laws under which reporters can be prosecuted. Harassment, intimidation and physical violence against journalists are all common but are rarely reported for fear of reprisals. In January 2018, an investigative journalist had to flee to South Africa after being threatened in connection with an article about the king’s alleged involvement in a corruption case. His newspaper was closed on the king’s orders. Several photojournalists were attacked in 2018, including by police.

in the 2019 World Press Freedom Index



152 in 2018

Global score


51.46 in 2018

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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