Malawi civil society pulls out of dialogue over ‘abitrary arrests’

Malawi Civil Society  Organisations have pulled out of negotiations over 20 point petition which formed the core of issues that culminated into July 20 anti-Government protests.

Leader of the CSOs dialogue team Voice Mhone told a news conference in the capital, Lilongwe on Friday that they have made the decision to abandon the talks following the arbitrary arrest of  of Human Rights lawyer Ralph Kasambara as a major reason.

“We announce our withdrawal from the talks unless the Malawi government releases Mr. Kasambara who is in detention without trial,” Mhone, accompanied by Steve Duwa, Dorothy Ngoma and a Mr. Mtonga told the media.

Mhone: We are out

“We are protesting the environment,” added Mhone.

“This time we will not go back until Ralph Kasambara is unconditionally released. We cannot continue to engage a Government that is not interested at all,” tough talking Mhone who heads Council for Non Governmental Organisations said.

The activists said they expect all the issues covered in the petition to be solved by March 28, 2012 saying after which Malawians will decide the future of the country.

The former attorney general turned critic of President Bingu wa Mutharika, was re-arrested Thursday after being released from detention early this week following court orders.

Kasambara was detained at a maximum prison in Zomba city, the country’s old capital, bout 60 kilometres outside commercial capital Blantyre.

The former attorney general who is a critics of President Bingu wa Mutharika was arrested this week, accused of kidnapping and torturing three men he claimed had confessed to his bodyguards that they had been sent after him by the government.

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