Zambia urged to withdraw gender post given to convicted rapist

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United Nations Secretariat shines in orange light kicking off Orange YOUR Neighbourhood anti-violence campaign for the International Day to End Violence against Women. November 2014. File UN Photo/E. Debebe

Two UN human rights experts are calling on Zambia's government to withdraw the appointment of a gender rights ambassador who had been convicted of raping a teenager.

Clifford Dimba, a singer, was last year sentenced to 18 years in prison for the rape of a 14-year-old girl.

He was pardoned by the country's President after serving one year of his sentence and later appointed an ambassador in the fight against gender violence.

Dianne Penn reports.

The UN human rights experts report on two separate concerns: violence against women and child prostitution and child pornography.

They described Mr Dimba's release and appointment as an ambassador for the fight against gender-based violence as "outrageous" and "more than cynical."

They said not only does this traumatize his victim once again, but it also discourages other victims from reporting similar offences.

The UN human rights experts further stated that the presidential pardon and subsequent appointment show "utter disrespect" for Zambia's women and girls who might feel that their government is not protecting them.

They called on the government to publicly withdraw Mr Dimba's appointment and to ensure that there are no further pardons for such crimes against woman and girls.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 49"

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