The Zambian government must explain why there are two separate reports of illegal attempted abductions of the former president’s son in South Africa, lawyer Robert Amsterdam said in a press release today.
According to the statement, a letter was sent from Mr. Amsterdam to President Michael Sata last week in which the legal team for Henry Banda, son of the former President Rupiah Banda, asked for the government to either confirm or explain recent reports published by Zambian Watchdog indicating that security agents had covertly attempted to abduct Mr. Banda from his home in Johannesburg without notifying the South African government.
To date, the Zambian government has not confirmed nor denied the reports of the attempted kidnapping of Mr. Banda. His lawyers state that Mr. Banda, who is a legal resident of South Africa, has been subjected to a politically motivated defamation campaign in the Zambian media, yet the Zambian government still has not presented a single formal charge.
“These reports, if true, reveal disturbing violations of both South African and international law as well as of my clients’ rights,” the letter reads, pointing out that Zambia is barred from executing arrests in foreign territory without the consent of the host government.
“Seizing Mr. Banda in South Africa and abducting him to Zambia would plainly not be a procedure ‘established by law,’” Amsterdam writes in the letter. “On the contrary, it would amount to a clear violation of both South African and international law, and as such, would violate Mr. Banda’s human right to liberty.”
Amsterdam published the full text of his letter to Sata on his website.