Zambia has come under fire by U.N. human rights experts after it pardoned singer Clifford Dimba, who was convicted of raping a 14-year old girl, and then appointed him to be an ambassador in the fight against gender violence. The singer, known as General Kanene, was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2014 but pardoned by President Edgar Lungu after just one year. Since then, the U.N. council on Human Rights says he has been involved in two other instances of violence against women. Dubravka Šimonović, U.N. Special Rapporteur on violence against women, strongly condemned Zambia for now portraying him as a role model in the fight against gender-based violence. “Such an outrageous release and appointment as an ambassador for the fight against gender-based violence not only traumatises the victim all over again but discourages other victims from reporting similar offences,” she said. The U.N. experts have called on Zambia to withdraw his appointment and prevent any further pardons for perpetrators of crimes against women and girls.
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