22 April 2019

Malawi: Rights Defenders Want Malawi to Hire FBI or Scotland Yard Over Buleya Lule Murder in Police Custody

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Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has demanded that the government hires independent reputable foreign investigators to probe the murder of Buleya Lule in police custody in February this year's, a key suspect in the abduction of a 12-year-boy with albinism in Dedza.

Chairperson of HRDC Timothy Mtambo said the police cannot investigate itself because Lule died in police custody after he was tortured then electrocuted by the police interrogators, according to findings detailed in a forensic autopsy report by independent pathologist Charles Dzamalala.

"The government should hire investigators in the caliber of FBI or Scotland Yard. Our police is compromised because they are the ones who killed Lule," said Mtambo.

Pathologist Charles Dzamalala says in a report that Lule was heavily tortured before he was electrocuted to death.

After he was killed, Dzamalala says, the police tampered with Lule's body in a bid to conceal evidence on the murder.

Mtambo has also demanded that the police should arrest all police officers who were on duty and were with Lule on the time of his death within 10 days.

He also said the Inspector General of Police , Rodney Jose, should fire Lilongwe police public relations officer Kingsley Dandaula for lying to the nation that Lule died of malaria.

And the first autopsy on February 21 2019, Deputy Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa is on record as having said the report on the cause of Lule's death showed that he died of hypertension and that a second autopsy was commissioned because some quarters were not convinced of an initial autopsy at Kamuzu Central Hospital which was conducted by Dr Maurice Mulenga, a pathologist based at the same institution.

The deputy police chief Mwapasa owes the nation an explanation on the source of information he shared that a Lule died of natural causes.

Mtambo said the foreign investigators could as well probe the abductions and killings of people with albinism as information given by police was devoid of the truth

Lule was murdered in police custody on February 26.

In the seven-page autopsy report, Dzamalala states that the results show a "microscopically proven electrocution wound over abdomen", and that the deceased was also assaulted.

Reads the report in part: "While electrocution is the primary cause of death in this instance, it was abundantly clear that the deceased was also assaulted with different types of implements, including but not limited to a cylindrical object inflicting trauma to the head and probably also a hot iron or similar object placed on a cloth over the skin rather than directly onto the skin around the left buttock."

HRDC deputy chairperson Gift Trapence, whose institution earlier wrote Police Service Commission to arrest officers involved, said they demand immediate arrest and prosecution of involved police officers.

Minister of Homeland Security Nicholas Dausi has refused to comment on the matter.

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