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HRDC, MBC in K 200 Million Defamation Tussle

HRDC, MBC in K 200 Million Defamation Tussle

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has taken public broadcaster Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) to task over the description of the human rights organization as a terrorist grouping.

In a letter submitted to the public broadcaster by the NGO, lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa demands an apology to be published on radio and online.

HRDC Leader: Challenging Being Labelled Terrorists

The lawyer says failing to issue a retraction and apology as demanded would prompted the human rights NGO to commence legal action to demand K 200 million for defamation of character.

According to Mwafulirwa, he has been instructed to commence action following a news bulletin aired on 16th January, in which the MBC is said to have described the HRDC as “bungwe lazawuchifwamba la Human Rights Defenders Coalition” loosely translated as “Human Rights Defenders Coalition, a terrorist organization…“.

“Our client notes and is dismayed by the fact this description was also once made by the President of this country and broadcast by your institution.

“Any reasonable person (natural or otherwise) would not want to associate with our client given the connotations associated with terrorism. Terrorism is not only a moral vice but is also a crime under our laws as well as international criminal law,” reads a letter of demand in part.

It further stated that the words published were “very defamatory” and contrary to the values and principles on which the HRDC is based.

The has been no immediate comment from the MBC.

            Malawi’s Public Broadcaster

 

The country’s broadcasting regulator, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), is also yet to weigh in on the matter.

The MBC has on occasions more than once been embroiled in controversial situations particularly on issues bordering on politics or human rights actions that seem to put opponents of the regime in bad light.

This partisan phenomenon spans the MCP, UDF, DPP and PP regimes. but is also a crime under our laws as well as international criminal law,” reads a letter of demand in part.

It further stated that the words published were “very defamatory” and contrary to the values and principles on which the HRDC is based.

The has been no immediate comment from the MBC.

The country’s broadcasting regulator, the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA), is also yet to weigh in on the matter.

The MBC has on occasions more than once been embroiled in controversial situations particularly on issues bordering on politics or human rights actions that seem to put opponents of the regime in bad light.

This partisan phenomenon spans the MCP, UDF, DPP and PP regimes.

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