Rights group Amnesty International is stressing the need for deep reflection on crimes against people with albinism, as the country goes to the polls next week.
“Incoming government must prioritise rebuilding the criminal justice system to ensure that it “works for all people,” recommends the organisation’s Regional Director for Southern Africa Deprose Muchena in a statement.
According to Muchena’s statement, Malawian police have raised concerns with Amnesty International about delays in concluding trials due to the limited number of senior magistrates qualified to deal with cases relating to people with albinism.
In addition, police officers entrusted with prosecuting suspected perpetrators of crimes are said to lack forensic skills, financial resources and receive little legal training, resulting in a backlog of cases.
The statement further indicates that even where cases are brought to court, the accused are often released due to flawed investigations and a lack of relevant admissible evidence.
“The first step to dealing with challenges such as these would be to ensure sufficient funding for the judiciary and prioritising training for prosecutors to effectively deal with cases of attacks on people with albinism,” Muchena observes.
The organization has also documented deaths in custody of suspected perpetrators of crimes against persons with albinism, including Buleya Lule who died in police custody on 21 February in Dedza district as a result of torture.