The United Nations (UN) has expressed concern over the recent attacks on journalists, politicians and civil society leaders at the National Assembly last week in Lilongwe.

Through its statement which has been signed by UN Resident Coordinator in Malawi Maria Jose Torres, the organization says it is concerned about several incidents happening as the country begins the electoral period, one of them being the Friday’s violence at the parliament during the state of national address by President Peter Muntharika.

UN has condemned the violence directly to journalists and also female politicians saying it considers the full respect for the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and political participation including women.

“The UN underlines the importance of the full respect for the rights to freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and political participation, including for women. Promoting conditions for holding credible, free and fair elections in 2019 requires a climate of tolerance and respect for the rule of law that enables citizen’s participation and equal representation, including for women,” says the statement.

In the statement, Torres has called upon authorities to investigate and where necessary to prosecute the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, Torres has urged all state institutions including media to actively promote peaceful settlement of disputes as contained in the existing electoral and peace building legal and policy framework.

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