Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2004 - Zambia

Harassment of Mrs. Sara Longwe's family members107

The family of Mrs. Sara Longwe, a member of the UN Conference of NGOs (CONGO) and laureate of the 2003 Hunger Project African Leadership Prize, was subjected to serious acts of harassment.

On 5 January 2004, the Minister of Home Affairs signed a deportation order requiring her husband, Mr. Roy Clarke, a journalist and British citizen, to leave the country within 24 hours. Mr. Clarke's deportation order was based on the grounds that he had allegedly insulted the Zambian President in his weekly satirical column in The Post newspaper. Mr. Clarke and Mrs. Longwe went into hiding from 5 to 13 January to avoid his deportation. The Minister of Home Affairs reportedly revoked Mr. Clarke's permanent residence permit and announced that he would deport Mr. Clarke, despite a "stay of execution" that was ordered to allow for a judicial review of his case, which was heard on 26 January 2004 by a High Court judge. On 12 February 2004, Mrs. Longwe's eldest daughter was kidnapped while driving her mother's car. Her assailants threatened to kill her, after asking her where her mother was, and left her on a small road in the Chamba valley a few hours later. That same day, Mr. Clarke was arrested before being released on bail the next day.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website (www.fidh.org) was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

107. See Open Letter to the Zambian authorities, 19 February 2004.


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