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Zambia: Christian leaders warn against autocratic rule

June 20, 2017

The Christian leaders of Zambia have issued a joint statement warning against the threat of autocratic rule.

The Catholic bishops’ conference joined with the Council of Churches in Zambia in the statement, responding to the the brutal arrest of a man who blocked a presidential motorcade. The statement referred to the arrest as “inhuman treatment,” observing that police used attack dogs.

“It was unthinkable that a Zambian government would sink so low as to unleash dogs on its own people,” the Church leaders said. Reflecting on the use of such excessive force, they observed: “Institutional violence is a fundamental measure of dictatorship.” They also suggested that media outlets in Zambia should be free to work “without looking over their shoulders for fear of closure, arrest, or attack.”

The Catholic and Protestant leaders challenged President Edgar Lungu to “be the guardian of all Zambians, regardless of their political affiliation.”

 
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