In response to a petrol bomb attack targeting the home and car of Malawian human rights defender and activist Timothy Mtambo, which took place in the early hours of this morning, Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa, said:
"This cowardly and malicious attack on Timothy Mtambo's property is a clear act of intimidation, designed to deter him from carrying out his human rights work. Timothy and his family narrowly escaped harm after three petrol bombs were thrown into his compound.One hit and torched his car while the second was thrown at the gate and the last narrowly missed his house.
"There must be no stone left unturned in pursuit of those who are behind this attack. The authorities must launch a prompt, impartial and effective investigation and ensure that suspected perpetrators are brought to justice in fair trials.
"The incident comes weeks after Timothy received threats for organizing demonstrations over allegations of mismanagement of the May 21 elections. The Malawian authorities must stop singling out critical voices for attack, and instead commit to respecting freedom of expression and peaceful assembly."
Timothy Mtambo is the Chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), a local Non-Governmental Organisation working to defend human rights. He is also the executive director of the Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) as well as the vice chairperson of Southern African Human Rights Defenders Network.
Mtambo has been instrumental in leading post-election protests following the 21 May election, calling for the Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Jane Ansah to resign from her position over allegations of mismanaging the election.