Amnesty International Condemns Arrest of Miti and Pilato as Politically Motivated
Six activists including Pilato and Laura Miti were taking part in a peaceful protest against excessive government spending on fire trucks when they were arrested by the government. They were charged with disobeying a lawful order after marching on Parliament in 2017.
They were protecting the purchase of 42 fire trucks for US$42 million – well over the normal asking price and one of the most expensive tenders offered.
“These activists are facing trial simply for demanding transparency and accountability in public spending. They have committed no crime and should never have been charged in the first place,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
“The Zambian authorities must drop these politically motivated charges against them. The authorities should respect, protect and promote the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the country.”
If convicted, the human rights defenders and activists including Pilato and Laura Miti, who were beaten by arresting police officers, face up to two years in prison.