Respect basic rights – EU ambassador Paesen   

The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Malawi Sandra Paesen says basic rights for all Malawians have to be guaranteed and respected.

Paesen made remarks when asked to comment on the arrest of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) Chairperson Timothy Mtambo Vice Chairperson Gift Trapence and member McDonald Sembereka.

In an interview with Malawi24, the EU ambassador said basic rights such as those guaranteed by the Constitution, the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights have to be respected.

“We have no reason to doubt that these rights will be preserved at all the times,” she said.

Mtambo, Trapence and member Sembereka were arrested last week after announcing plans to shut down State House on March 25 in order to force President Peter Mutharika to assent to electoral reforms.

The three were later released on bail.

The arrest of the three came hours after President Peter Mutharika told the Malawi Defence Force to use force against protesters who will march to the State House.