MHRC calls for protection of demo organisers

The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has condemned threats targeted at members of the Human Rights Defender Coalition (HRDC) in Malawi and has asked the police to protect the organizers of the post-election demonstrations.

The MHRC says any threat to life or safety of any HRDC member is an attack on civil liberties and democracy which the people of Malawi fought for in early 1990s.

Protesters in Lilongwe

The concern has been expressed in a press release dated 4th July, 2019 signed by the Commission’s Executive Secretary, David Nungu, following confirmed reports of death threats targeting HRDC vice chairperson Trapence through his mobile phone from a South African number.

Trapence received a text message which reads in part: “I am coming tonight I will shoot you down.”

The MHRC has described the threats as an attack to the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi in which the Bill of Rights sits.

In the release, the Commission has urged the police to protect all HRDC members in line with their police mandate sitting in section 153 of the Constitution of the Republic and act swiftly by investigating the matter and bring to book the source of these threats.

The Commission has appealed to members of the general public to religiously report to police or the Commission and/ or whistle blow any source of threat to any of the HRDs in Malawi.

It has also called upon the state to protect rights defenders saying there is a perfect positive correlation between Human Rights observance and meaningful development.

The HRDC led by Timothy Mtambo and Trapence is holding a two day nationwide protest to force Chairperson of MEC, Justice Dr. Jane Ansah to resign for failing to manage the May, 21 tripartite elections.

 

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