HRDC calls for arrest of Buleya cops

Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has demanded the arrest of police officers implicated in the killing of Buleya Lule, a suspect in connection with the abduction of a person with albinism.

A Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) report issued on Wednesday this week found that Lule, who died in police custody, was tortured before his death. The report also named some police officers involved in his death.

Mtambo: We want to know the other names

HRDC has now called for the arrest of the officers named in the report, including Superintendent Paul Chipole, Sub-Inspector Ikram Maleta, Acting Commissioner for the Central Region Police Headquarters Evalista Chisale, Inspector Ronnex Kapesa, Station Criminal Investigations Officer for Dedza Police Station Inspector Marvin Gama, and four mobile police officers from the C Division whose names do not appear in the report.

In a statement issued yesterday, HRDC has demanded that police should place criminal charges against the nine and identify the four unnamed officers.

The statement, signed by HRDC national chairperson Timothy Mtambo and vice-chair Gift Trapence, among others, reads in part: “It is clear from the findings that a gross injustice was committed against the victim, and it is a fact that the police acted negligently and violently.

“It remains unclear as to why the police officers tortured to death the victim. This confirms our original suspicions that the police were aiming to protect one another and shield themselves from backlash.”

The HRDC also supports recommendations of MHRC that Buleya’s relations be compensated immediately even without having to go through courts.

Malawi Police Service spokesperson James Kadadzera said the police are looking into the MHRC report and they will respond accordingly.

“We got the report yesterday. The IG is looking into it and once that has been done we will respond accordingly. Definitely we are going to respond accordingly,” he said.

However, Kadadzera said the police were yet to get the statement by HRDC and could not respond to their demands. 

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