Informe anual 2013
El estado de los derechos humanos en el mundo

16 febrero 2012

Malawi: Former Attorney General returned to prison despite bail order

Malawi: Former Attorney General returned to prison despite bail order
Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika has taken a hard line against government critics, including lawyers, journalists and activists.

Malawi's President Bingu wa Mutharika has taken a hard line against government critics, including lawyers, journalists and activists.

© AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP/Getty Images


The rearrest of Ralph Kasambara indicates the Malawian authorities are willing blatantly to flout the law when it comes to dissenting voices.
Fuente: 
Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s Deputy Programme Director for Africa.
Fecha: 
Jue, 16/02/2012

The Malawian authorities must comply immediately with a court order to free former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara on bail, Amnesty International said after he was rearrested on Wednesday night, just hours after his release from detention.

Ralph Kasambara was first arrested on Monday after a scuffle broke out when a group of five men allegedly attempted to petrol bomb his office in Blantyre, the country’s commercial capital.

A day earlier, two national newspapers had quoted the lawyer as criticizing Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika.

“The rearrest of Ralph Kasambara indicates the Malawian authorities are willing blatantly to flout the law when it comes to dissenting voices,” said Noel Kututwa, Amnesty International’s Deputy Program Director for Africa.

“Such disregard for the judicial process is an alarming sign for the human rights of perceived critics of the government in Malawi, suggesting that the authorities are willing to stop at nothing to silence their critics.”

On Thursday, Ralph Kasambara’s lawyers Wapona Kita and Jonathon Kara were summoned by the directors of Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau to answer questions in relation to their client being granted bail.

“It would appear the authorities are pulling out all stops to ensure Ralph Kasambara remains in custody,” said Noel Kututwa.

On Monday a group of five men carrying a can of petrol arrived at the prominent lawyer’s office, asking people in the vicinity about his whereabouts. Five security officers responded to the scene, prompting two of the alleged attackers to flee.

The other three apparently admitted, after his security team used force, that they had been sent by government officials to attack Ralph Kasambara.

Police arrived at the scene and arrested the lawyer, his security team and the three remaining men. When they arrived at Blantyre Police Station, Ralph Kasambara and his security team were detained and charged with assault before being transferred to the city’s Chichiri Prison.

The three men who were also arrested at his office are apparently no longer in custody, having been driven away from the police station in an unmarked car.

The next day, a Blantyre Magistrate granted Kasambara bail on 20,000 Malawian Kwacha (equivalent to US $120) on the condition he report to police once a week.  He was returned to prison for one night before his release could be processed.

His release on Wednesday morning was delayed when police arrived at the Chichiri Prison with a search warrant and requested he accompany them to his office and home. He refused to go, but the search went ahead.

Kasambara was released on Wednesday afternoon and returned briefly to his home before armed police rearrested him and returned him to Chichiri Prison. No additional charges have been made.

Ralph Kasambara is one of a number of people in Malawi, including human rights defenders, journalists and civil society activists, who have been targeted since early 2011 for criticizing the government on issues including human rights, governance and the economy.

The intimidation has taken the form of death threats, forced entry to homes and offices, petrol bombings and other attacks. Threats have come from people who say they are aligned with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) or by men believed to be state security agents.

Human rights defenders speaking at international forums and those involved in organizing anti-government demonstrations have been publicly criticized and threatened with violence and arrest by government officials, including President Mutharika.

Throughout 2011, Amnesty International spoke out against increased repression and threats to Malawians’ freedom of expression, association and assembly.

Tema

Activistas 
Detención 
Libertad de expresión 
Impunity 

País

Malawi 

Región

África 

@amnestyonline on twitter

Noticias

22 julio 2014

Mientras en Londres se reúnen hoy activistas para debatir sobre estrategias para abordar la mutilación genital femenina, comunidades de todo Sierra Leona adoptan un enfoque... Más »

04 septiembre 2014

Amnistía Internacional lleva muchos años investigando y documentando el uso de la tortura en México. A continuación, ofrecemos algunos datos alarmantes:

Más »
03 junio 2014

En la segunda de una serie de dos partes, dos de las personas cuyos nombres estaban entre los “más buscados” a causa de su papel en las protestas de 1989 en Tiananmen cuentan... Más »

11 julio 2014

Sasha, activista ucraniano de 19 años, fue secuestrado a punta de pistola por separatistas en Luhansk y golpeado una y otra vez durante 24 horas.

Más »
03 septiembre 2014

La decapitación del periodista estadounidense Steven Sotloff por militantes del Estado Islámico es el último de la serie de crímenes de guerra que están cometiendo los grupos... Más »