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November 08, 2002
Strange Alliances

Iran's hardline judiciary has sentenced an outspoken activist for reform to death, eight years in jail, 74 lashes and a 10-year ban from teaching, the Iranian Student News Agency reports. (From the Sydney Morning Herald.)

That's IraN, not IraQ, okay? IraQ is our enemy. We're semi-allied with IraN right now. They're the good guys.

Speaking of bad guys, how about that Swaziland?

"Once upon a time, a handsome African king spotted a beautiful young maiden at a traditional reed dance. His Majesty King Mswati III, known as The Lion to his subjects, knew right away that he would make 18-year-old Zena Mahlangu his wife.

His 10th wife, to be precise. So the king abducted her. Then her mother sued. And the king's judges agreed to hear the case. So the king's henchmen threatened to get rid of the judges. And the tiny mountain kingdom of Swaziland, a landlocked dot between South Africa and Mozambique that is Africa's last absolute monarchy, faced its most dire political crisis since independence from British rule in 1968.

Things, they are a'changing in old Swaziland. Revolution, or at least severe reform might be sweeping over the country.

We can only hope.

Unfortunately, the postponement of her mother's lawsuit on Zena Zoraya Mahlangu's behalf means that both the girl and the mother have little or no hope of her release. She told her mother, over the phone, that she "accepts" her situation. (Her mother has still been denied the right to talk with Zena face-to-face.)

I'm still wondering about the other two recently abducted girls, by the way. Prospective wives #11 and #12. Has anyone thought about what they want? Or, in a country so poor, is the prospect of sharing the wealth of the king just too tempting?

Posted by AnneZook at 01:00 PM


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