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Government irks rights activists

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The suspected abduction of a 22-year-old man living with albinism in Machinga District has irked rights activists, who have accused authorities of ignoring the plight of people living with albinism in the country.

Since 2014, over 20 persons with albinism have been killed, over nine cases of abductions have been reported in the past four months and three people have been reported missing.

Speaking under one banner of Human Rights Defenders on the suspected abduction of Macdonald Masambuka of Nakawa Village, Traditional Authority Nkoola, in Machinga District, the group complained about delays in the delively of justice in cases where suspected albino hunters easily get released on bail.

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“We, as human rights defenders, find this deplorable and aptly worrisome. The failure by the police to successfully investigate related cases and break the criminal syndicate shakes our trust in this institution,” reads the statement in part.

The statement was signed by Human Rights Defenders chairperson Timothy Mtambo, Vice Chairperson Gift Trapence and Secretary Mwiza Nkhata

The trio lashed out at the taskforce which President Peter Mutharika set up to curb cases of violence against people with albinism.

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“The taskforce set by His Excellency the President in 2015 lacks leadership and has failed to give Malawians concrete results. Again, government and relevant authorities seem to lack momentum in the fight while our brothers and sisters with albinism continue being killed and attacked,” they said.

Using Chapter IV of the Malawi Constitution, which commits the State to the protection of human rights “of all the peoples of Malawi,” the human rights defenders forum called on government to accord the issue the attention and priority it deserves and to eradicate the barbaric, inhumane acts once and for all.

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