Legal Defense Alliance denounces violations of Civil Rights by Zambian government

Police tear-gas citizens inside a closed room

LONDON, October 22, 2012 – President of Zambia Michael Sata and the ruling Patriotic Front party must halt their violations of civil rights and threats of violence against the political opposition or face international legal action, says the Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights (CDDR).

According to a letter from the CDDR addressed to President Sata, Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba, Director of Public Prosecutions Mutembo Nchito, and Inspector-General of Police Stella Libongani, the ruling party has abused state institutions in a campaign of persecution against opposition parties and political figures, alleging that their rights to freedom of expression and free association have been violated.

The full letter is found here

“This unlawful conduct by the government, which includes but is not limited to the violent dispersal of peaceful rallies, arrests of protesters, police blocking meetings of opposition parties, threats of violence and intimidation through manipulation of ethnic tensions, trumped up investigations, censorship of media, and attempts to de-register a party, all contribute to a pattern of unlawful harassment of representing breaches of Zambian law and Zambia’s obligations under international law,” states the CDDR letter.

The letter, which is signed by CDDR member Robert Amsterdam, an international lawyer who represents former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda, cites specific incidents in which the rights of both the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) were violated by unlawful state conduct.

As a State Party to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the principal African human rights treaty, Zambia must respect all of its African Charter commitments, including the freedoms of its people to express and disseminate opinions (Article 9), their right of free association (Article 10), their right freely to assemble (Article 11), and the right of every citizen “to participate freely in the government of his country, either directly or through freely chosen representatives in accordance with the provisions of the law” (Article 13(1)).

“We believe that Zambia deserves better than a government that wilfully breaks the law to deny citizens their right to participate in politics,” states the CDDR letter.  “We believe that Zambia deserves to have a leadership that is accountable before the law and which upholds the country’s international commitments.”

Representing a broad array of opposition parties, political figures, and private citizens whose rights have been violated by the current Zambian government, the CDDR has announced the opening of a comprehensive investigation including the participation of internationally regarded legal experts.  A report detailing the alleged violations of rights shall be distributed to key international bodies.

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22 Responses to "Legal Defense Alliance denounces violations of Civil Rights by Zambian government"

  1. Truth seeker  October 24, 2012 at 18:17

    Sata is a nightmare! Denying HH and MMD a permit? Though I knew Sata was never presidential material any didn’t vote for him I never thought he’d sink so low having suffered the same fate in the past.

  2. Ken Mumbuma  October 24, 2012 at 05:20

    NEXT TIME WHEN THE POLICE TEAR GAS YOU LIKE THIS! DON’T RUN TO THE ONE EXIT, RUN TOWARDS THEM IN A MASSIVE STUMPEDE INSTEAD OF ENDAGERING YOUR OWN LIVES BY SQUEEZING THROUGH ONE SMALL EXIST. RUN TOWARDS THEM AND GET ONE OR TWO OF THEM CRUSHED IN THE PROCESS. WHEN ONE OR TWO BUJUS GET CRUSHED THAT’S WHEN UKWA/CNP WILL COMMENT OTHERWISE HE IS JUST ENJOYING HIMSELF LAUGHING AT ALL THIS.

    ZAMBIAN POLICE HAVE BREAKEN THE RECORD. NO TEAR GAS HAS EVER BEEN USED INDOORS IN THE WHOLE WORLD. WHAT DO THEY THINK THEY ARE DOING?

  3. b.t  October 23, 2012 at 15:51

    what this get it done in zambia and then move on

  4. Lwanga  October 23, 2012 at 13:50

    Satan has never bin presidential material instead of learning the art he adopts old tricks. He’s destroying Zambia helped by pf police! We’re in trouble! Viva HH!

  5. Mr Kiss  October 23, 2012 at 11:52

    Are these not the same pipo from usa who honoured sata and kaseba last month?

  6. prostitute  October 23, 2012 at 10:32

    Explain in bemba for satan

  7. Honest  October 23, 2012 at 09:34

    The govt should reflect on its record in 1year and give Zambians hope.
    Take an introspection seriously.

  8. COONDE  October 23, 2012 at 07:33

    PLEASE PASTE MY COMMENTS. IT’S IMPORTANT.

    • Mubanga  October 23, 2012 at 09:00

      I have been having similar problem of late whereby my comments do not show especially if they are slightly longer. I wonder why.

  9. Sena  October 23, 2012 at 06:49

    THIS IS NOT WHAT WE WANTED PF TO TAKE US TO WHEN WE ELECTED THEM. WHY ARE THEY AFRAID TO ALLOW THE OPPOSITION HOLD THEIR MEETINGS AND RALLIES? HOW WILL THE OPPOSITION COORDINATE AND STRENGTHEN THEIR PARTIES IF PF DENIES THEM MEETINGS?

    I DID NOT VOTE SO THAT WE CAN FIGHT EACH OTHERS LIKE THIS. I HAVE RELATIVES WHO ARE STRONG SUPPORTERS OF MMD, UPND AND PF. SHOULD I REMAIN SILENCE WHEN MY RELATIVES ARE BEING MISTREATED BY ONE POLITICAL PARTY?

    PARTIES COME AND GO. FAMILY TIES REMAIN. ONLY A FOOL WHO HAS NO RELATIVE IN ZAMBIA WILL BRING DIVIDE AND RULE AND RUNS AWAY BUT GOD IS OUR PROTECTOR.

  10. The Eyes of an Eagle  October 23, 2012 at 06:01

    So according to Shamenda,is CDDR bitter as well?When Gen Miyanda pointed out PF’s shortcomings in one year that the new govt has been power,some politics of the stomach came in from Shamenda.I rest my case.

  11. chunza  October 23, 2012 at 04:07

    its a dead end,it a pity innocent smart sol’z that are able to read between the lines will suffer deal to the fools and kaponayz who voted this joker in to office.and coming to think of it these fools are really feeling the heat from this man’s policies.bus fears,food prices,salary deductions the list goes on.
    question:
    when will Zambian politics mature?

  12. observer  October 22, 2012 at 22:25

    The PF government have earned being censured. The TIZ is compromised and chosen not to see these infringements on human rights and freedom of expression of the opposition. The president wants to rule with an iron fist,but will come undone before long.

  13. gomani jeff  October 22, 2012 at 22:10

    Educate me what the cddr can do the cnp government when found wanting?

  14. elo lwanya!!  October 22, 2012 at 21:35

    elo lwanya!
    when this country goes on its needs, ukwa will ran to his mentor! bob magabe. they will be sanctions so bad the pf will be forced to give up power.! satas chief advisors membe and nchito will then flee the country ..kabili they are storing up tresures somewhere else while we are all looking ka?

  15. elo lwanya!!  October 22, 2012 at 21:28

    elo lwanya! he will ran to his mentor! bob magabe.

  16. Lwalwa  October 22, 2012 at 20:45

    This could lead to sanctions and travel restrictions for Ukwa and his minions.

    Zambians are not as docile is Ukwa thought.
    Tiye, Tiye

  17. Rude Mwanza  October 22, 2012 at 20:39

    Zambia in reverse gear. Just how does one tear gas or smoke people in a closed room. It’s unheard of to say the least. It’s barbaric at its worst. Madness of the worst kind. The good news is that you don’t expect much from mad men in the steering wheel!

  18. BURNING SPEAR(WINSTONE RODNEY)  October 22, 2012 at 20:38

    NKANI YALULA!! SUCH THINGS MAY INVITE SUNCTIONS AND AS YOU KNOW SATA IS A DEAR FRIEND TO MUGABE.

  19. Licholocholo  October 22, 2012 at 20:25

    VERY EMBARASING INDEED.THE WORST GOVERNMENT ZAMBIA HAS EVER HAD.CHOOSING A DICTATOR AMONG DEMOCRATS.VOZIFUNILA SINCE THATS WAT MAJORITY WANTD.ONE YEAR BUT NEGATIVE CHANGES EQUAL TO THAT OF 10 YRS.ND THE IMBICILES R BUSY LICKNG HS BOOTY

  20. Third Eye  October 22, 2012 at 20:22

    Zambians are a weird species. Only in Zed could we elect jokers like FTJ and Ukwa into the highest political office. We deserve this mediocrity because we are all collectively a mediocre lot!

  21. Mweemba  October 22, 2012 at 20:09

    Ukwa is a joke of a leader. How do Xambians foolishly elect a comedian to plot one! Are you surprised that we are experiencing a comedy of errors? Watch this space. We are about to be sanctioned. I am also sure Trevor Noah has gathered a lot of material with regard to his fellow comedian, one of the best we have in Xambia!

Comments are closed.