The Law Society of Scotland has called upon Malawi government to stop intimidating and violating rights for lawyers
The society made a call following recent attack on human rights defenders in Malawi including the detention of human rights lawyer and former Attorney General Ralph Kasambara
According to a press statement released on 09 March 2012 The Society said it is extremely concerned over the widespread reports of harassment and intimidation of lawyers including human rights defenders in the country
The society therefore called upon government to reaffirm its commitment to the freedoms that are enshrined in the country’s constitution and uphold the protection of the human rights of the citizens of Malawi through its on actions and those of its agencies.
It further called upon government to denounce politically motivated and unlawful ill-treatment of those who choose to exercise their democracy right to freedom of expression.
In addition to that, the Society also urged government to resolve the current judicial strike action which started in 12 January .
“The Society has also expressed deep concern at the prolonged industrial action currently taking place within the Malawi judicial and the ongoing and devastating effect this is having on citizens’ ability to access the justice system.” Reads the statement
“ We understand that the ongoing strikes, which started in 12 January and have spread from judicial support staff to include judges and magistrates, have effectively brought the country’s judicial system to a stand- still” added the statement
The statement added that the industrial action is as a result of government failure to undertake its promised three-yearly salary review of judicial officers and implement the increase that were recommended at the last review in 2006.
The Law Society therefore urged government to begin open and constrictive negotiations with the staff of the judiciary as one way of reaching a compromise. Saying the strike action has serious and far-reaching implications for Malawi citizens, victims of crime, suspects, law enforcement officials, prisons and police stations