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Malawi cited in Amnesty report on threats to human rights defenders

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Malawi is among several countries in Africa mentioned in 2016 Amnesty International report on threats to human rights defenders released on Tuesday 16 May, 2017.

The report released stipulate that more people have been tortured, harassed and killed for defending human rights in the year 2016.

Thee report indicates that in countries of Malawi, Botswana‚ Lesotho‚ South Africa‚ Zambia and Zimbabwe‚ journalists and lawyers continue to face harassment and intimidation simply for doing their work.

A total of 281 people are believed to have been killed globally in 2016 for defending human rights‚ up from 156 in 2015.

Amnesty International secretary general Salil Shetty said the figures were a clear indication that the defenders of human rights were increasingly under threat.

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Among the people defending human rights are community leaders‚ lawyers‚ journalists and other human rights defenders across the world.

“What we are witnessing today is a full – frontal assault by governments‚ armed groups‚ corporations and others with power on the very right to defend human rights” said Shetty.

Shetty added that, “human rights defenders bear the brunt of this global attack”.

The threats on the human rights defenders manifest firstly in personal attacks.

But the threats could also result in killings and enforced disappearance‚ prosecution‚ stigmatisation and smear campaigns and reprisal.

Another indicator of these threats are attacks on communication‚ such as an increase in the use of surveillance and internet censorship.

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