18 February 2013

Zambia: CDDR Says It Will Expose Rights Abuses On Video

The Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights (CDDR) has released a statement today announcing a new series of online videos that they say will "expose" violations of rights by the Zambian government.

The first video, which depicts the teargassing of UPND cadres last August, shall be followed by other videos, the CDDR says, including evidence relating to the incitement of ethnic violence by top government officials.

The scene depicted in the video relates to certain portions of the report presented to the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group last week.

According to the 2009 Affirmation of Commonwealth Values and Principles, member states must uphold "the inalienable right of the individual to participate by means of free and democratic political processes in shaping the society in which they live; underlining that not only governments but all political parties and civil society also have responsibilities in upholding and promoting democratic culture and practices as well as accountability to the public in this regard."

CDDR is claiming that "these principles with respect to democracy have been seriously and persistently violated by President Sata and the PF government through the repeated arrests of opposition figures on false pretenses, defamation, and fictitious accusations of criminal activity levelled against opponents of the state."

The report goes on to describe in detail a number of arrests and harassment of Hakainde Hichilema and other members of the UPND.

The organisation claims that it will welcome "anonymous submissions of video evidence of rights violations on its website, whether they are recorded on smart phones, security cameras, or amateur video."

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