Malawi activists still in custody

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) leaders will spend another night in prison as a court in Lilongwe has said it will deliver its ruling on the activists’ bail application tomorrow.

The activists, HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo, vice chairperson Gift Trapence and executive member McDonald Sembereka, appeared before the court in Lilongwe on Wednesday afternoon where Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Chipao deferred bail ruling for three HRDC leaders.

The three have since been remanded to Maula prison. They are accused of threatening to shut down four state residences across the country and inciting other people to join them in closing the state residences.

Sembereka and Trapence were arrested on Sunday night while Mtambo surrendered himself to the police on Tuesday.

The crackdown on the activists came hours after President Peter Mutharika ordered the police and the Malawi Army to use force against protesters who will march to the State House.

Mutharika also warned the activists that he was tired of their demonstrations saying the three are not bigger than the government.

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