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The Human Rights Commission, HRC, has called on government to address the growing concerns over increased cases of violation of the rights of the opposition parties to freely assemble and associate.

Commission Chairperson Pamela Sambo says there is need for the Police to stop the continued arbitrary application of the Public Order Act, and respect people’s rights to freedom of association and assembly.

“The Commission has observed a worrying trend where the Police have either stopped or disrupted opposition political parties and leaders from exercising their democratic and constitutional rights to freedom of association and assembly,” said Dr. Sambo in a statement issued to RCV News in Lusaka today.

She cited the recent case where a police officer unceremoniously entered the office of Catholic Bishop, Clement Mulenga, in an attempt to disrupt a meeting or courtesy call by Former President Edgar Lungu on 17th May 2024 in Kabwe District of Central Province.

She said that the rights to freedom of association and assembly are central to any functioning democracy and that government has an obligation to respect, protect and fulfill the enjoyment of such rights without any form of discrimination.

She has therefore, implored government to take practical steps towards putting an immediate stop to the erosion of human rights being perpetuated by the police service.

Meanwhile, Dr. Sambo has commended government for tendering an apology to the Catholic Church for the police misconduct and violation of human rights through the invasion of the private meeting.


By Margaret Mwanza


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