UNAIDS Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of Programmes, Shannon Hader is expected to attend the bail hearing of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Vice Chairperson Gift Trapence and MacDonald Sembereka at Lilongwe Magistrate Court.

The two were arrested on Tuesday for running an unregistered organisation called MANGO and abusing funds received from the UNAIDS.

The two appeared Magistrate Violet Chipawo on Wednesday for formal charges and bail hearing but the presiding magistrate adjourned the bail application to today Friday.

On Wednesday evening, UNAIDS called for the immediate release of the activists saying it reported MANGO to police but the case did not represent legal action against the organisation.

“UNAIDS respectfully requests the immediate release of the two members of the Mango Network, Mr Gift Trapence and Mr Macdonald Sembereka, from police custody.

“UNAIDS is strongly supportive of the full empowerment and engagement of civil society organizations in the AIDS response. It looks forward to continuing its partnership with community and civil society organizations in ensuring that all people affected by HIV have access to HIV prevention, treatment and social support services and that their human rights are protected,” reads in part the statement.

More details to come….

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