Bwalya v. Zambia

Comm. No. 314/1988, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/48/D/314/1988 (1993)

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Bwalya v. Zambia

Human Rights Committee
Comm. No. 314/1988, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/48/D/314/1988 (1993)

Facts

Peter Chiiko Bwalya (plaintiff) was a citizen of Zambia (defendant) who ran for a seat in Zambia’s parliament. Bwalya authored a communication alleging that his rights under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (the covenant) were violated because authorities prevented him from adequately preparing his campaign and from participating in the election. Bwalya was the chairman of a political party called the People’s Redemption Organization, and he advocated reforms related to homelessness and unemployment. Bwalya alleged that he suffered retaliation for his views in the form of threats, being fired from his job, being expelled from his home, and having his father’s pension payments halted. Bwalya was held in detention for 31 months and charged with being a member of his political party, which was regarded as illegal given that Zambia’s constitution provided only for one party. Bwalya was also charged with conspiracy to overthrow the current government. After Bwalya filed his communication with the Human Rights Committee (the committee), he was arrested and detained again. It was a year and a half before Zambia notified the committee that Bwalya had been released. However, Zambia did not provide the committee with any additional information, judicial orders, or opinions in Bwalya’s case pursuant to its obligation under Article 4(2) of the covenant’s optional protocol. Bwalya alleged violations of Articles 19 and 25 of the covenant.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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