The Human Rights Commission (HRC/Commission) calls on the Zambia Police Service to grant Mr. Fumba Chama, popularly known as Pilato, and three others police bond or take them to court today.
The Commission is calling on the restoration of the right to liberty of Mr. Chama and his co-accused in the alleged unlawful assembly charge Mr. Lazarus Mambwe, and the Alliance for Community Action Executive Director Ms. Laura Miti and the Programme Manager Mr. Bornwell Mwewa in accordance with the state obligation to respect the rights of suspects.
Further, Section 33 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) Act provides that accused persons who are detained without a warrant may be granted police bond if it is not practicable to take them before an appropriate competent court of law within 24 hours.
The Commission is confident that the courts of law will admit the suspects to bail on reasonable and necessary conditions pending trial because the offences they are charged with are bailable.
The Commission wishes to take this opportunity to express its repeated concern over the routine arresting and detention of individuals or groups of individuals who are peacefully exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of association, assembly and expression.
The continued abuse of the Public Order Act grossly undermines the respect for constitutionalism, rule of law and human rights and must be stopped for the sake of good governance. It is the Commission’s considered view that it is unfair and unjustifiable to treat individuals who are peacefully expressing their views on matters of public interest as common criminals.
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION