We are very disappointed with the Patriotic Front (PF) government and the Zambia Police for arresting students and youths during the commemoration whose only offence was to wear T-shirts demanding a road map for a new constitution says Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali.
Tayali said it was an affront to democracy and violation of basic human rights for the police to arrest students who were excising their constitutional rights to freedom of expression.
“It was particularly outrageous for the police to confiscate T-shirts from the youths some of which were female student with probably no bras. This is inhuman which must be condemned by all law abiding and peace loving citizens,” Tayali said.
He said Zambian Voice was one of the Non-governmental organisations (NGO’s) that had been encouraging youths to participating in this year’s celebration.
“We regret having encouraged youths to participate in this year’s youth day celebrations because of the action taken by police,” he said.
Tayali said it was extremely disappointing that after asking youths to participate they ended up being arrested by the police.
“We shall encourage the youths to be shunning away from youth day celebrations,” he said.
Tayali wondered why the police did not arrest PF cadres who become unruly at the function and yet arrested students who were only peacefully marching in the T-shirts demanding for a constitution.
“The PF cadres were all over town making noise after the function but they were not arrested by the police,” he said.
Tayali said it was a total abuse which also showed bad governance of the PF government.
“We cite them for bad governance because of such small issues which they have failed to address maturely,” he said.Tayali said the police must know that their action on innocent students and youths has been strongly condemned by many Zambians.Meanwhile police did not charge the 42 students and youths who were arrested but decided forgive them and release them around 17:00hours.