Malawi: Attorney General Warns HRDC Against Demos, Says Court Contempt

Anti-Jane Ansah protests in Lilongwe.
17 September 2019

Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale has warned Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) to suspended their peaceful protests tomorrow, saying going ahead with the demos would be contempt of court.

Kaphale: Pens HRDC

In a letter to HRDC lawyers, Kaphale says instead, HRDC officials should go to court and meet the judge who gave the 14-day moratorium on protests.

"The parties failed to meet the judge within the 14 days or immediately after the expiry thereof as the judge was reportedly out of jurisdiction.

"The judge is now back and has given the parties the 20th September, 2019 to attend before him," says the letter in part.

The attorney general says the government therefore does not HRDC to hold the protests from Wednesday until the judge makes his final orders.

"... (government) will consider any such demonstrations as being held in contempt of court and will seek appropriate court orders against the conveners and participants," says the letter.

But lawyer for HRDC Khwima Chizi said the issue of the 14 days was very clear in the court order, saying HRDC is acting within the law.

He blamed the government for the failure of the two warring parties to sign a consent agreement.

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