The United States’s 2021 Zambia Human Rights report has highlighted massive human right violations and criminalities in the run up to the August, 12, 2021 general elections under the PF administration.
The report also reveals that impunity before the August 12 elections was a problem because perpetrators affiliated to the PF or serving in government were either not prosecuted for serious crimes and if prosecuted, they were acquitted or released after serving small fractions of prison sentences.
Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings by government agents; torture and cases of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by police; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; serious restrictions on free expression online and in the media and the press among others.
Prior to his election in August 2021, Hakainde Hichilema was a major opponent of Lungu, the president of Zambia from 2015 to 2021.
In April 2017, Mr. Hichilema was arrested and charged with treason, a move that was seen as an illegitimate act by Mr. Lungu to silence a political rival.
The arrest and charge were widely condemned, with protests held in Zambia and abroad, demanding Mr. Hichilema’s release and condemning the increasing authoritarianism of Lungu’s regime.