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Zambia: bishops warn of mounting human-rights violations, repression of political dissent

January 29, 2013

"The respect and protection of human rights in our Country is deteriorating at an alarming rate," the Catholic bishops of Zambia have warned in a pastoral letter.

The bishops’ letter criticize political leaders of all parties, pointing to an increase in “political intolerance, both between parties and within them.” But the strongest language of the pastoral letter is directed against the ruling government. The bishops charge that the government has arrested and intimidated critics, and complain of kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, and lengthy interrogations that might include the use of torture.

“These acts are totally unacceptable. They must cease immediately,” the bishops demand. Insisting that there is no justification for repressive measures, they note: “This country is not in a state of emergency."


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