Malawi protester dies in prison

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A protester who was allegedly assaulted by Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers in Karonga has died in prison.

The man identified as Justin Phiri is suspected to be one of the protesters who were beaten up by MDF soldiers last week in Karonga.

Phiri’s relatives at Mzuzu police station

He was picked up by the police on charges of inciting violence in the district and was being kept at Mzuzu Prison.

Phiri together with other arrested protesters appeared in court on Monday to answer the charges.

He later died in prison and today his family stormed Mzuzu Police Station to demand an explanation from the police.

Over the past three months, protesters led by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have been demanding the resignation of Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah.

Last week, HRDC planned to hold protests from 18 to 20 September but the demonstrations were called off after the first day.

On the second day, protesters gathered in Karonga and Mzuzu but they were dispersed by soldiers.

In Karonga, protesters blocked the M1 road and when soldiers who were providing security tried to help motorists pass through, the demonstrators attacked the soldiers.

Several soldiers were assaulted by the community members with some soldiers suffering cuts to the face.

Following the fracas, the soldiers rounded up the protesters and beat them up.  A video shared on social media showed protesters lying in muddy waters and the soldiers flogging them with sticks.

 

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