Malawi police accused of rape and sexual assault

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Malawi police raped, assaulted women during security op – Report (PHOTO COURTESY)

Police in Malawi have been accused in a report by Malawi’s Human Rights Commission (MHRC) for serious human rights abuses including rape and assault.

“Some of the survivors were raped right in the presence of their children some of whom are able to recount the incident,” the report said.

The report also stated that the assaults happened as the police were trying to clear unauthorized checkpoints mounted by the villagers meant to prevent people from attending a rally being held by President Peter Mutharika in Lilongwe.

Police used violence and fired tear gas to disperse the crowds.

“Some of the women who were left behind in the village as others fled, or arrived in the villages after the others had fled, were met with police officers who violently beat them, raped and indecently assaulted them,” according to the report.

The Commission conducted investigations which revealed that at least one girl under 18 was sexually assaulted while seven women had been raped in Msunwde, 35km west of the capital Lilongwe.

The police have yet to respond to the serious allegations; however, the MHRC has named officials who should be punished for their actions.

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