Malawi pledges to pro­tect al­bi­nos

Lesotho Times - - Africa -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — The rights of peo­ple with al­binism in Malawi must be guar­an­teed, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional (AI) said on Mon­day.

“Malaw­ian of­fi­cials must live up to their prom­ises to end vi­o­lence against peo­ple with al­binism and tackle dis­crim­i­na­tion against this group,” AI said in a state­ment on In­ter­na­tional Al­binism Aware­ness

Af­ter a se­ries of meet­ings with se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing Pres­i­dent Arthur Peter Mutharika, on June 7, Amnesty In­ter­na­tional said in a state­ment it se­cured com­mit­ments to ad­dress the spate of killings of peo­ple with al­binism and to tackle the root causes of dis­crim­i­na­tion.

“Recog­ni­tion by the Malaw­ian au­thor­i­ties at the high­est level that peo­ple with al­binism not only ex­pe­ri­ence daily dis­crim­i­na­tion but also live in con­stant fear of at­tacks is an im­por­tant step in ad­dress­ing the prob­lem,” said De­prose Muchena, AI re­gional di­rec­tor for South­ern Africa.

“Malaw­ian po­lice need more re­sources and must con­duct thor­ough and ef­fec­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tions to bring the ab­duc­tions and killings to an end.

“Vis­i­ble policing in ru­ral ar­eas cou­pled with an ef­fec­tive pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion cam­paigns can con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly in ar­rest­ing the prob­lem,” Muchena said.

On June 7, an AI del­e­ga­tion pre­sented the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s lat­est re­port on Malawi to Mutharika and other of­fi­cials, in­clud­ing the in­spec­tor gen­eral of po­lice, the min­is­ter of gen­der, chil­dren, dis­abil­ity, and so­cial wel­fare, and the min­is­ter of jus­tice.

Dur­ing the meet­ings sev­eral com­mit­ments were made in­clud­ing re­view­ing gov­ern­ment’s poli­cies and es­tab­lish­ing the root causes of the crimes against peo­ple with al­binism.

“The gov­ern­ment of Malawi also wel­comed Amnesty In­ter­na­tional’s rec­om­men­da­tions to en­sure safety for the vul­ner­a­ble group in the coun­try. These in­clude the call for vis­i­ble policing in ru­ral dis­tricts as well as mon­i­tor­ing and record­ing at­tacks,” said AI.

The AI re­port re­leased on June 7, ti­tled: “We are not an­i­mals to be hunted or sold: Vi­o­lence and dis­crim­i­na­tion against peo­ple with al­binism in Malawi” re­vealed that at least 18 peo­ple with al­binism had been killed since Novem­ber 2014.

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