Armsterdam demands explanation on why Zambia tried to Kidnap Henry Banda

Lawyers acting on behalf of Henry Banda, the son of former President of Zambia Rupiah Banda, are demanding that the current government explain allegations of illegal kidnapping attempts in South Africa.

Citing media reports alleging that Zambian security agents or other third parties were dispatched to Johannesburg in February 2013 and May 2012 to attempt an abduction of Mr. Banda, a letter dated February 20, 2013 from lawyer Robert Amsterdam to President Michael Sata demands that the Government of Zambia provide answers within 72 hours before the legal team would initiate appropriate international procedures.

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 over the course of more than a full year.

“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.”

The letter continues, “For all these reasons, I ask that you confirm whether the reports of Zambian agents entering South Africa in an effort to seize and kidnap Mr. Henry Banda are true and, if so, that you advise me urgently of what steps you are taking to halt any such violations of the law and of Mr. Banda’s human rights.”

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