Africa 12.1.2017 10:15 am

Albino killings in Malawi underscore criminal justice failures, says Amnesty

Members of the Albinism Society of Kenya demonstrate along Harambee Avenue on June 19, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Gallo Images / Nation Media / Stephen Mudiari

Members of the Albinism Society of Kenya demonstrate along Harambee Avenue on June 19, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo: Gallo Images / Nation Media / Stephen Mudiari

A 19-year-old man with albinism was killed two days ago in a Malawian village .

Amnesty International (AI) has criticised Malawi’s handling of the targeted killings of albinos, labelling it as a failure of the criminal justice system.

Amnesty International’s regional director for Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, said: “Malawian authorities must promptly and thoroughly investigate the horrific killing of Madalitso Pensulo and take immediate steps to address the poor policing and failures in the criminal justice system, which have led to a climate of impunity for crimes against people with albinism.”

Pensulo, a 19-year-old man with albinism, who lived in Mlonda Village under the Sabwe Traditional Authority in Thyolo District, was killed on January 10.

“Police and other law-enforcement officials should step up their efforts and promptly bring the suspected perpetrator, who is known by the Mlonda Village community, before a competent court of law in a fair trial. The message must be sent that attacks on people with albinism will not be tolerated,” said Muchena in a statement on Wednesday.

“People with albinism are living in fear within their own communities. This latest killing highlights the urgent need for Malawian authorities to ensure an effective criminal justice system to bring suspected perpetrators of past related crimes to justice.

“They must ensure a coordinated security strategy that protects all people with albinism in Malawi, and put an end to their abduction and killing.”

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