16 January 2018

Malawi: UN Faults Malawi Over Failure to Establish Police Independent Complaints Commission

Malawi's failure to establish the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has been condemned by United Nations Human Rights Commission.

The commission will be an independent body which will be making its decisions on people's complaints on police brutality or injury to citizens independently.

UN asked Malawi government to expeditiously establish the IPCC which is provided for in the Police Act of 2010 but government said the Malawi Police has a Professional Standsrds Unit handling inquiries serious acts of police misconduct.

But UN has said it regrets that no information was provided on whether a central system "to keep track of all complaints of torture and ill-treatment has been established and on whether such information is publicly accessible and not provided upon request only."

Chief State Advocate, in the Human Rights Unit in the Ministry of Justice Pacharo Kayira said establishment of the commission will be ideal to bring confidence to people who feel their cases would be handled unfairly by the police.

Kayira said Malawi government will provide comprehensive response in its 2018 report to the UN

He added that as part of its role in securing and maintaining public confidence in the complaints system, the commission will be learning from its work to influence change on policing, ensure accountability, best practices and customer service, and dealing with serious complaints and misconduct of police officers.

Civil society organisations have been calling for the commission following concerns from Malawians about lack of independence in the way police handle cases involving fellow officers.

Many Malawians feel the Police are biased when investigating cases involving fellow officers; hence, the need to establish the commission which will go a long way in improving the image of Police .

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