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Malawi Law Society Statement on Murder of Yasin Kwenda Phiri

Jan 03 2019

The Malawi Law Society is deeply shocked with the murder of Yasin Kwenda Phiri on 31 December 2018 in Nkhatabay District. It is a huge step backwards in the fight against these ritual related gruesome murders. As a nation, we seriously need to step up the fight against these regrettable acts. They are inhumane, unacceptable and retrogressive.  They put Malawi in bad light to the rest of the world especially considering that Malawi is a signatory to various international instruments on matters of human rights among other things.

The MLS is therefore, urging Government and all stakeholders to take a decisive action and deal with this issue once and for all so that the year 2019 should not be another sad year in the history of Malawi for people with albinism. The Amnesty International report of 2016 entitled “We are not animals to be hunted or sold” noted that the “Malawian authorities have failed to guarantee the right to security of person for people with albinism especially in rural areas.” With this sort of observation we urge Government to put in place meaningful measures to deal with these unfortunate acts of barbarism once and for all.

Malawi is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which obligates state parties to respond appropriately to patterns of violence against certain groups of people. In line with this obligation, we call upon Government to take immediate action on this disturbing occurrence. The government as a core duty bearer of rights of its citizens has to be in the forefront protecting, and ensuring the fulfiment of the respect for the rights of life, dignity and the whole regime of rights of people living with albinism. We understand the police are investigating the matter and we look forward to the logical conclusion of the matter and that justice should prevail.

We mourn with the family and may the soul of Yasin Kwenda Phiri rest in eternal peace.

Dated this 3rd day of January 2019

__________________________________               _________________________________

Alfred Majamanda                                                Martha Kaukonde

CHAIRMAN                                                               SECRETARY

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