Malawi Police have confirmed 17 men have been arrested towards the inhumane and humiliating treatment of a woman in Limbe central business (CDB) which took place on Thursday 16th March, 2017.
A woman ( name withled) believed to be mentally ill from Bangwe Townhsip in Blantyre reportedly undressed herself and started calling for men to give her money by touching her private parts.
Many men took part in fondling and playing with her privaye parts. Pictures were also naked of her nudes which went viral on social media.
Police spokesman James Kadadzera said the 17 people arrested over the incident will face a charge of 'conduct likely to cause breach of peace' and others will face a charge of indecent assualt.
"All men who took part in indecently assaulting ths vulrnarable woman will be traced, arrested and prosecuted," Kadadzera said.
Meanwhile, Women's Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC) Communication's Manager, Dumase Zgambo-Mapemba, has said the mentally ill womn did not deserve such barbaric treatment from some members of the public.
"We condemn perpetrators of such violent acts against women including those who took videos and pictures. Nothing can justify this inhumane and barbaric treatment of the woman regardless of her mental health status," said Mapemba.
Besides WOLREC's reaction towards the behavior, the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare is also deeply disturbed by the images circulating on social media that expose the dignity of a certain woman in Limbe.
Section 19(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi states that dignity of all persons shall be inviolable.
Section 137(1) of the Penal Code also states that any person who unlawfully and indecently assaults any woman or girl shall be liable to imprisonment for fourteen years.
In addition, the Gender Equality Act's Section 6(1) says: A person commits an act of sexual harassment if he or she engages in any form of unwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in circumstances that would have anticipated that the other person would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.
WOLREC has since recommended the police to embark on an investigation to apprehend perpetrators of such acts and originators of the videos and pictures that have been circulating on the social media.
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