Organizers of Anti-Ansah demonstrations Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have reported Malawi government to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission for abuses of human rights in the country.
Reporting of the matter was done in a formal letter addressed to the commission on October 7, signed by the coalition’s chairperson Timothy Mtambo and his vice Gift Trapence.
In the letter HRDC raised their concerns by citing that the government is refusing citizens their constitutional right which include to assemble and demonstrate.
“HRDC was dismayed to see an assemblage of the governing party operatives (Democratic Progressive Party cadets) that began pelting stones and beating peaceful and unarmed demonstrators with iron bars in full view of the Malawi Police. Malawi Police did nothing to protect the citizens and peaceful demonstrators, [they] instead opted to run away,” reads the letter.
The CSOs have also complained of alleged government sponsored terror on human rights activists during protests including the assault of Billy Mayaya in full view of the police.
“Billy Mayaya alongside four others were brutally attacked by these governing party operatives (DPP cadets). As one of the conveners of the demonstrations, Billy Mayaya was targeted and heavily beaten with a metal bar and was stoned for exercising his right to assemble with others peacefully and unarmed. He sustained major injuries with multiple and deep lacerations and he and four others were hospitalised and battling for their lives,” reads the letter.
The rights body has also reported government for police attacks which saw them fire teargas canisters at patients at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital thereby suffocating patients who were not part of the anti-Malawi Electoral Commission chairperson Jane Ansah protest.
United Nations High Commission for Human Rights, which is headquartered in Geneva, has since acknowledge receipt of the report.
“I would like to formally confirm receipt of your organisation of complaint at the office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,” reads a correspondence from the commission.