Malawi police officers accused of rape during investigation

October 18, 2019
| Report Focus News
Amoured Malawi Defence Force vehicles stay parked as Malawi Police officers manage Malawi opposition party supporters and members gathered outside Lilongwe High Court in Lilongwe, Malawi, on June 26, 2019, while an election related case is taking place inside. - Malawi's constitutional court on Wednesday heard opening arguments in a case over alleged election irregularities as opposition parties battle to have the result of last month's vote nullified. President Peter Mutharika, leader of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), held onto power in the May 21 vote, narrowly defeating Lazarus Chakwera of the MCP. (Photo by AMOS GUMULIRA / AFP)

Malawi police on Thursday announced the launch of an inquiry into allegations by rights groups that its officers raped and tortured women during demonstrations over presidential election results.

From what the victims say it appears that the police set out to humiliate and torture people who lived in the area where the officer was killed last week.

The respected Malawian rights group “NGO-Gender Coordinating Network” spoke to three girls in Mpingu who say several policemen entered their home, ordered them to strip naked and then raped a 16-year-old in the bedroom.

In another home a newly-wedded woman was stripped and sexually assaulted.

Doors were kicked in and tear gas thrown inside as children hid.

The police say the allegations are being investigated but the NGO also wants Malawi’s human rights commission to take action.

The sexual assault allegations are the latest in a spate of violent acts that have happened across Malawi following May’s disputed presidential elections won by President Peter Mutharika, Peter Jegwa reports from Lilongwe