Lusaka — The Coalition for the Defence of Democratic Rights (CDDR) is announcing the launch of a series of online videos displaying evidence of alleged civil and human rights abuses by the current Government of Zambia.
The first video of the series, released today on YouTube and the CDDR website, contains footage of police brutality exercised against opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema and numerous members of the United Party for National Development (UPND) on August 9th 2012, when police fired tear gas canisters indoors, causing a stampede and several injuries.
Mr. Hichilema, as well as other opposition leaders such as Nevers Mumba of the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), have faced multiple politically motivated arrests in recent months based on highly questionable grounds as part of a recent campaign of persecution by the Patriotic Front (PF) government.
The videos are being published in support of a recent application presented before the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) requesting an independent investigation into serious and persistent violations by the Zambian government of President Michael Sata and the PF. Following a widely covered press conference held by opposition leaders in Johannesburg on Feb. 12, the Zambian government has cracked down harder, issuing threats and even initiating a controversial bid to strip immunity of former President Rupiah Banda without providing any details of allegations.
Future videos to be released shall address unlawful persecution of the MMD as well as civil society groups, incitement of ethnic violence by individuals such as President Sata and Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba, and instances of misconduct by Mutembo Nchito, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and Fred M'membe, the owner and editor of the pro-government newspaper, The Post.
The CDDR welcomes anonymous submissions of video evidence of rights violations on its website, whether they are recorded on smart phones, security cameras, or amateur video. The board of directors of CDDR emphasizes that only through high-level exposure can we accomplish our goal of instilling accountability, ending impunity, and returning Zambia to the rule of law.
More information on the CDDR's activities and the full copy of the Commonwealth Report can be read at http://cddr-zambia.org.