UN Malawi welcomes charges in the MacDonald Masambuka case and calls for greater progress in investigations and prosecutions of crimes against persons with albinism

Press Statement:

5th September 2018: The UN in Malawi welcomes that investigations into the killing of MacDonald Masambuka have been completed with 12 defendants including a police officer, clinician and priest entering pleas on a series of charges including murder and causing harm to persons with disabilities. We call on the Government to promptly prosecute the alleged perpetrators in this landmark case.

The UN  is concerned however about  continuing attacks against persons with albinism. We note that at least 10 people with albinism remain missing in Malawi, the most recent being the case of Joseph Kachingwe, a 12-year old boy  who went missing in July 2018 in Phalombe after attending  independence celebrations. We call on the authorities to intensify their efforts to resolve these outstanding cases.

On the 16th of August 2018, a 5-year old boy with albinism narrowly escaped abduction in Chikwawa. We  call for enhanced protection and support for victims and their families,  and enhanced awareness raising, in line with the National Action Plan on Albinism 2018-2022.

We call on the Government to prioritise investigations and prosecutions of crimes against persons with albinism in Malawi, in line with commitments made at the High Level Meeting on Albinism in Lilongwe on 13 June, 2018 and the recommendations of Justice Redson Kapindu in his recent study on challenges and best practices in investigations, prosecutions and sentencing in offences against persons with albinism in Malawi.[1] As of June 2018 only 45 of 145  cases of crimes against persons with albinism had been finalized before the courts, with only one High Court case concluded.

UN Resident Coordinator, Ms. Maria Jose Torres

[1] http://www.mw.one.un.org/un-malawi-convenes-high-level-meeting-on-albinism/

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