News ban after Malawi jail death

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The Independent Online
LUSAKA (agencies) - Malawi imposed a blackout on news that the imprisoned political activist, Orton Chirwa, died in prison on Tuesday. Chirwa, who was in his 70s, and his wife Vera were serving life sentences for their opposition to the rule of President Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

The Chirwas, who were founder-members of Mr Banda's Malawi Congress Party and later became dissidents, were abducted from Zambia in 1981 and sentenced to death by a special tribunal. Their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment in 1984 after pleas by rights groups.

Obituary, page 33

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