Amnesty International says convictions of 12 people, including a Roman Catholic priest and a police officer, over the murder of MacDonald Masambuka represent a victory for justice, human rights and the rule of law.
Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena has said this in a statement today.
He said the fact that 12 people were involved in the crime, including Mark’s biological brother, shows the depths of discrimination that persons with albinism face in Malawi.
“It’s an ugly, outdated, and dangerous practice that needs to be prevented and eradicated once and for all.
“Too many innocent people with albinism have lost their lives in terribly cruel circumstances, with many of those suspected to be responsible still roaming free. The criminal justice system must be strengthened so that these cases are thoroughly, independently, transparently and effectively investigated and perpetrators are finally held to account. Authorities must provide victims and their families with access to justice and effective remedies.”
MacDonald Masambuka, a 22-year-old man from Nakawa village, in Machinga district, southern Malawi, disappeared on 9 March 2018. He left his home to buy a mat in the company of a friend. His body was found buried in a shallow grave on 1 April.
Of the 12 men convicted, five were found responsible for murder while seven were convicted of offences relating to the murder including playing a role in luring Mark, trafficking his body parts, and other offences.