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Activists report Malawi to UN over human rights

The Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) have petitioned United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva to help Malawi improve its compliance with international human rights.

The petition, signed by the leaders of the two organisations, Gift Trapence and Timothy Mtambo, calls for the UN to help Malawi commit to implementing and domesticating international human rights conventions.

According to the petition, a number of organisations such as The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, treaty bodies and Malawi’s civil society organisations have been raising a number of serious human rights concerns in the country since 2011 and the same cases have been recurring in 2016.

“We are very concerned that although the following issues have repeatedly been raised, the government of Malawi has not addressed the issues and there is no political will to that effect. There have been new developments on human rights abuses in 2016 that need the United Nations attention,” the petition reads.

Citing the murder of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) official Issa Njaunju murder case of The Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa, the two organisations are calling upon the UN Human Rights Commissioner to press Malawi to bring to book the perpetrators.

“It is our expectation that through your intervention, the government of Malawi will ensure the prosecution of all alleged perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, complete expeditiously all the process that have been already initiated, punish those who are convicted and compensate the victims,” the petition reads.

The organisations further say they hope accountability and justice will take course and no one will be spared regardless of their status.

“The government needs to be further reminded that the primary role of every government is to protect its citizens. Malawi has an obligation to protect human rights defenders, journalists, political activists and academics as enshrined in the constitution and international conventions on human rights to which it is signatory to,” it reads.

Recently, it was reported in The Daily Times that the State House has been targeting its critics and has embarked on a campaign to silence all Malawians it views critical to its administration.

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