Amnesty International Demands an Immediate Release of HRDC Members

Date:

As different stakeholders are mounting pressure on Malawi Government to release two human rights activists of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Mac Donald Sembereka nd Gift Trapence, Amnesty International has also made a similar call to President Peter Mutharika.

According to Amnesty International Director for East and Southern Africa Deprose Muchena said the arrest is subjected to threats that were issued by Mutharika and some top officials of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Muchena added that the arrest of Sembereka and Trapence have been ill-timed and very unfortunate considering that the country is heading towards fresh presidential polls.

“The arrests of Gift Trapence and Reverend McDonald Sembereka are deeply troubling, coming amidst the highly charged political environment ahead of the election rerun. Many human rights defenders have been subjected to threats, including by President Arthur Mutharika and senior leaders of his party,” said Muchena.

Muchena continued by making a strong call demand an immediate and unconditional release of the two who are currently in two separate police custodies in the commercial city of Blantyre.

“Malawi authorities must immediately and unconditionally release the detained activists,” demanded Muchena.

He added; “The authorities must stop threatening, harassing and intimidating human rights defenders and allow them to freely exercise their rights.”

Meanwhile HRDC Chairperson Timothy Mtambo is expected to hand himself over to police two days after his colleagues were nabbed by the police in Lilongwe who were later transferred to Blantyre.

On March 6, the grouping held a press conference where they revealed plans of sealing State House premises with an aim of forcing Mutharika to assent electoral amendments bills that were passed by parliament.

Aftermath of May 21, 2019 elections the coalition has been mobilizing people into the streets expressing their concern with how the electoral body Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) handled the polls thus calling for the resignation of MEC chairperson and all commissioners.

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Flora Mitumba
Email: info@faceofmalawi.com

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