Malawi govt drops case against human rights activists


The Malawi government through the director of public prosecutions has dropped charges against five human rights activists accused of holding illegal protests outside the Parliament in October last year.

Police alleged the activists did not obtain permission for the act as required by the Police Act.

The five: Billy Mayaya, Habiba Osman, Brian Nyasulu, Ben Chiza Mkandawire, and Comfort Chiseko –were taking part in a small, peaceful demonstration outside parliament, calling on late President Bingu wa Mutharika to hold a referendum, resign, and hold an early election.

They also called for resignation of the then Inspector general of police Peter Mukhitho and investigation into his alleged involvement in the murder of a student activist Robert Chasowa in September, the same year.

The activists were released on bail five days later.

One of the activists Billy Mayaya confirmed the office of the director of public prosecutions-ODPP dropping charges against to Capital on Tuesday.

“Our lawyer has told us about the ODPP dropping the charges against us, but he said formal communication will be sent later,” Mayaya said

The arrests of the activists attracted condemnation from both local and international rights organizations, which called on the former regime to take urgent steps to end the harassment and arrests of people seen as opposing the government.

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