Lawyers group condemns editor’s attack

Lawyers group condemns editor’s attack

Staff Reporter

MASERU

THE Lesotho Lawyers for Human Rights (LLHR) yesterday condemned the cowardly attack on Lesotho Times and Sunday Exress editor Lloyd Mutungamiri.

“The attack constitutes a criminal act of attempted murder by the merchants of death who operate under the cover of darkness ,” the LLHR said in a statement released last night said.

The LLHR said it is disturbed “to learn that the attempted murder occurs hot on the heels of certain utterances allegedly made on a radio station by a political fanatic calling upon the publisher and CEO of Lesotho Times to be killed”.

The utterances, which are criminal under the Penal Code, “are incitement to murder or attempted murder or causing physical harm”.

The LLRH said proprietors of radio stations should not forget the shameful part a radio played in orchestrating genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

The association called on the crown “to conduct effective police investigations into the attacks on journalists in particular and citizens in general”.

“For the investigations to be effective, they must be capable of leading to the establishment of the facts of the attacks, identification of the perpetrators and result in their arrest, prosecution and adequately appropriate punishment,” the statement reads.

The LLRH said a free press is a purveyor of good news and bad news, a mirror for democratic society to see itself.

“Necessarily therefore a free press shocks, offends, satarises, and taunts the arrogance of power and privilege,” the LLRH says.

It says the misfit of a democratic society react through violence, threats, assault, murder or arrest journalists when the mirror of the free press exposes societal ills, fault-liners and other ugly features of society.

The misfit of a democratic society are those who tire under the demands of pluralism, tolerance and broad mindedness.

“They falsely think that by shattering the mirror, societal ills and fault-liners and other ugly features of society will evaporate into thin air,” the statement reads.

“They think, again falsely, by killing the messenger of bad news the bad news will die with the messenger. But lo and behold the idea and purpose of the free press lives on.”

The association says those who cannot handle a free press are on that account cowards and enemies of a democratic society.

“They do not deserve to be its leaders, servants and protectors.”

“Journalism is not just a profession,” the LLRH says.

“It is the exercise in occupation of the freedom of expression which is guaranteed to every person by the constitution. This freedom cannot be withdrawn or undermined by faceless assassins and faceful political zealots,” the statement reads.

 

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