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HRC urges Govt to curb violence

By SIMON MUNTEMBA
GOVERNMENT and political leaders should take practical steps towards de-escalating national tension and political violence in order to guarantee human rights and freedoms for all, the Human Rights Commission (HRC) has said.

HRC spokesperson, Mweelwa Muleya, said the current political environment in Zambia was toxic with hatred and acts of discrimination which undermined national unity, peace and stability.
Mr Muleya in a statement yesterday said the escalating political tension and violence was extremely worrying and urged Government to provide effective leadership in defusing it.
“It is clear that discriminatory application of laws relating to freedoms of movement, assembly and expression based on one’s political affiliation or divergent views are the root causes of political tension and violation of human rights,” Mr Muleya said. He said the state had an inescapable mandate to maintain law and order and to respect the rights of all citizens.
Regrettably, he said, the country witnessed acts of lawlessness and hate speech targeting opposition party leaders while the victims of such politically sponsored verbal and physical violence were being pursued by the Zambia Police Service.
Mr Muleya called on the Government to be magnanimous enough and deal with acts of lawlessness in the same manner it was dealing with acts of lawlessness or violence allegedly committed by individuals and groups of individuals holding divergent views

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