UN alerted over Malawi deteriorating human rights situation, govt’s critics’ targeting

Two local human rights bodies – Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) and Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) –  have petitioned the United Nations Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)  in Geneva, Switzerland  about the persistent failure to hold to account members of the security forces responsible for human rights violations, including abductions and enforced disappearances of government critics.

Mtambo (left) and Trapence at UN office in Geneva: Reported  threats of Malawi goverment's critics

Mtambo (left) and Trapence at UN office in Geneva: Reported threats of Malawi goverment’s critics

In the petition dated August 31 2016 sent to OHCHR’s human rights officer for Africa Branch (East and Southern Africa) Abigail Noko, Cedep and CHRR have observed that since 2011, local and international organisations have raised concern over a number of serious human rights violations in the country which are recurring in 2016.

Among others, they have cited the brutal killing of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) senior officer Issa Njaunju , the killing of university student Robert Chasowa and alleged threats to  journalists  that include Times Group journalists,  Nyasa Times editors, human rights defenders and political activists.

CHRR and CEDEP want UN to place a special focus on Malawi to improve its compliance with international human rights conventions and that the UN Human Rights Commissioner should press Malawi to bring to book the perpetrators who are roaming freely in the corridors of power.

“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.

The organisations, also want the country to meaningfully commit to implementing and domesticating the instruments in a comprehensive manner.

“The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, United Nations through the Universal Periodic Review [UPR], treaty bodies such as International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights [ICCPR] and Malawi’s civil society organisations have been raising a number of serious human rights concerns in the country since 2011 and same cases have been recurring in 2016,” reads part of the petition.

The groups expect the issues raised in the petition will be brought to the attention of government and acted on “considering that the issues have taken long without being resolved and keep resurfacing.”

“Malawi has an obligation to protect human rights defenders, journalists, political activists and academicians as enshrined in the constitution and international conventions on human rights to which it is signatory to,” reads the petition.

It has been reported 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.

However,  special adviser on civil society and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) Mavuto Bamusi said government government is pushing for resources to enable the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs to address matters of human rights and governance, assuring that all the matters the two groups have raised “will be addressed in detail by the ministry.”

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4 thoughts on “UN alerted over Malawi deteriorating human rights situation, govt’s critics’ targeting”

  1. be humane says:

    Remember these two Mtambo and Trapence also pretended to be persecuted here in Malawi and applied for Asylum to the UN and the same UN quashed their application for lack of evidence. They have cited persecution on many occassions but have not reported any real evidence of their persecution. They want to buy inernational sympathy which they are never accorded. The analyst, in the 2015 Universal Periodic Review these people made same sentiments and Government allowed the UN Special rapotuer to Malawi to investigate the allegation but no tangible evidence was gathered. Do you think this time they will be taken serious? These are opportunist

  2. Winston Msowoya says:

    Human rights abuses in Malawi has been active for more than 32 years unabatedly and exclusively affecting Northerners.These innocent people have suffered illegal imprisonments for long terms,their children barred from decent education programs,such as entrance to Secondary Schools,Universities and other colleges.In order to have access to these institutions,some of the Students are coerced to change their surnames to sound South and Central oriented and yet we are all citizens of one nation.The citizens of South and Central Malawi (not all of them) of course,condemn Northerners as people who love themselves,but you wonder who doesn’t love himself or herself? Economic developments in the Region,is willfully stagnant,the national government has no room to invest in the North as a result the Region remains the GULAG ACHIPELAGO of the nation with no hope.The fact of the matter is that Northerners are better educated than the two Regions and the overwhelming majority of them are in diaspora for instance,in the city of Manchester,UK,there are more Medical Doctors 87 percent being the Northerners there than in Malawi itself.We have seen the obnoxious QUOTA SYSTEM,the only educational instrumentality in Africa similar to former South Africa’s inhumane system of education which favoured white boers kids while black kids left to fend for themselves.However,lack of the United Nations efforts to intervene and condemn out rightly the violations of human rights in Malawi as San Francisco Conference held in 1945 which promulgated the Charter of the UNITED NATIONS that every living human being has fundamental rights to EDUCATION.Today,the tribalistic government of Peter Muthalika violates that Chater with unprecedentedly impunity.We Malawians in diaspora,vehemently appeal to the UN Education Department to take drastic measures to stop the incorrigible trend that infringes basic human rights to the Northerners and for the government of Malawi,we ardently appeal to the President and his mob of illiterate supporters to forthwith scrap the shameful and divisive QUOTA SYSTEM sooner than later.GOD HEARS US!!!!

  3. The Analyst says:

    O…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………O
    Does anyone any longer see Henry Kachaje’s articles on this forum?
    . . . he was told, he was on some hit list (for giving advice to govt) and he became silent.
    Have people heard Jessie Kabwila being critical of govt, of late?, as she used to, in the days of old?
    . . . she was shaken up with arrests and others stuff too bad to even mention in public.
    ……………………………………………………………………….
    Now . . .
    . . . Is it not paradoxical that the govt cited [protection of human rights] as the reason why albino-hunters/killers could not be executed?, and yet the same govt continues to grossly violate people’s rights?
    . . . is it hard therefore, to see that the reason [given for not executing albino-hunters] was not genuine?
    . . . Nanga, how would the same govt observe international human rights (on albino-hunters), and yet shamelessly become unconcerned about international human rights on other citizens?
    . . . Hypocrites!
    O……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….O

  4. A good movie worth immediate attention….. Other wise I see terror in the human rights industry

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