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2 critics of Swaziland government convicted

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JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A lawyer in Swaziland says two government critics there have been found guilty of contempt of court in a case that focused attention on human rights in the landlocked African kingdom.

Sipho Gumedze, a human rights lawyer, said Thursday that the two critics — a lawyer and a magazine editor — are considering an appeal. Sentencing is expected at a later date.

Lawyer Thulani Maseko and Bheki Makhubu, editor of Swaziland's The Nation magazine, had been charged after publishing articles in which they lamented alleged threats to judicial independence.

Swaziland is ruled by King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch. The country held parliamentary elections last year, but many international observers said the process was a sham designed to prolong the king's grip on power.

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