Lesotho


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Human Rights Concerns

Lesotho is a landlocked nation situated inside the borders of South Africa. After years of unstable political history, Lesotho witnessed its first peaceful transfer of power in June 2012 when Prime Minister Motsoahae Thomas Thabane took office. After credible parliamentary elections deemed credible by international and domestic observers, the nation’s first collation government was formed among four political parties.

The country’s population of over two million is burdened with chronic hunger with more than sixty percent of people living below the poverty line. Lesotho’s economy is primarily agrarian with little manufacturing or industry. Limited arable land and subsistence farming leave Lesotho vulnerable to food insecurity. Higher concentrations of poverty are found rural areas burdened by heavy rains and soil erosion.

Access to quality health care service delivery is a major hurdle. Lesotho has an HIV prevalence rate of 23 percent as well as high levels of malnutrition and tuberculosis. Long distances to health care facilities, insufficient infrastructure, lack of transportation, shortage of skilled workers and user fees at hospitals are barriers to attaining health care. With one out of thirty two women dying of pregnancy or child birth related causes, Lesotho suffers one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. The high prevalence of HIV further exacerbates the problem as a large number of maternal deaths are due to HIV-related complications.

Gender equality remains an area of concern in Lesotho. Gender-based violence is widespread and most incidents of sexual assault and rape go unreported. Although many female-headed households result from men seeking work in South Africa, women’s rights are severely limited in terms of property inheritance and succession.

Lesotho Newsroom



July 11, 2016 • Press Release

Shooting of newspaper editor in Lesotho is a chilling attack on freedom of expression

Authorities in Lesotho must launch a prompt, independent and impartial investigation after the editor of the Lesotho Times Lloyd Mutungamiri was left in a critical condition in hospital after being attacked by unknown gunmen on July 9, Amnesty International said today.

June 26, 2016 • Press Release

Lesotho: criminal investigation into the killing of Mahao must be pursued vigorously

Authorities must ensure that the criminal investigation into the killing of Lieutenant-General Maaparankoe Mahao by members of the Lesotho Defence Force (LDF) is thorough and pursued vigorously without undue delay, said Amnesty International today on the first anniversary of his unlawful killing.

April 29, 2016 • Press Release

Lesotho court ruling to allow ongoing detention of soldiers, raising further questions about fair trial

A court ruling that allows the Lesotho Defense Force (LDF) to continue to keep 16 soldiers detained raises further serious concerns about their ability to have a fair trial, Amnesty International said today, following a decision announced by the Lesotho Court of Appeal.

February 22, 2016 • Press Release

Amnesty International’s Annual State of the World Report Slams Governments, Including the U.S., for Global Assault on Freedoms

On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.

February 18, 2016 • Report

Amnesty International State of the World 2015-2016

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 18, 2016 • Press Release

Your rights in jeopardy, global assault on freedoms, warns Amnesty International

International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

February 25, 2015 • Report

State of the World 2014/2015

This has been a devastating year for those seeking to stand up for human rights and for those caught up in the suffering of war zones. Governments pay lip service to the importance of protecting civilians. And yet the world's politicians have miserably failed to protect those in greatest need. Amnesty International believes that this can and must finally change.