Police should not investigate Msundwe rapes – HRDC

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The Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) says the Malawi police should not investigate the alleged rape of women and girls at Msundwe because police officers are key suspects.

The grouping said this at a press briefing in Lilongwe today.

Last week, a rights group revealed that police raped women and girls at Msundwe where the law enforcers were deployed to arrest murder suspects.

The police later said they had instituted an inquiry into the rape, sexual abuse and torture of the women and girls.

Speaking at the press conference today, HRDC Interim Vice Chairperson Solomon Phiri said they want the investigations to be done by an independent body.

According to Phiri, they fear the police could jeopardise the process.

Phiri added by condemning the rapes and assured that the HRDC will ensure that justice prevails to the victims.

“We want to further condemn in strong terms the different attacks and violence that Malawians are doing in different parts of the country,” he explained.

Phiri asked political leaders to take part in bringing back peace and harmony in the country.

He then revealed that the group is planning to hold citizen engagements and demonstrations in Mzuzu, Blantyre and other districts as it continues to force Malawi Electoral Commission Chairperson Justice Dr Jane Ansah to resign. The HRDC accuses Ansah of mismanaging the May 21 elections.

The press briefing was conducted a day after HRDC member MacDonald Sembereka told the media that thugs fired bullets at his house and also attempted to torch the  house.

According to Sembereka, the unknown people managed to throw the Petrol bomb but failed to accomplish their mission of burning the house.

Earlier this month, HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo was also attacked by armed people in Lilongwe.

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