Malawi Human Rights Commission recommends second postmortem on Bunda student


An investigation report by the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has recommended that the State should facilitate carrying out another independent postmortem on the body of Prince Kamwaza, a first year soil science student at Bunda Campus of the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).
Kamwaza, who was among 46 students arrested on December 7 last year following a fracas that occurred at the university’s campus during a students’ demonstration against blackouts, died a few days after his release.
The report indicates that the right to life of Kamwaza was not violated by the police but the latter subjected some of the arrested students in custody to torture, cruel and inhuman treatment contrary to Section 19 of the Constitution.
“The State should facilitate the carrying out of another independent postmortem examination whose results would be compared with those established by pathologist Mlenga’s postmortem report,” reads the report.
The report further says the right to life of Kamwaza, guaranteed under Section 16 of the Constitution, was not violated by the police and that the postmortem report by the pathologist indicates that the deceased died of bowel obstruction and not physical assault.
“The police subjected some students that were arrested and put in police custody to torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment contrary to Section 19 of the Constitution which provides for the right to human dignity,” reads the report in part.
It says the police did not violate the student’s right to assembly as they exercised the right illegally and without following the procedure laid down in Section 98 of the Police Act.
Kamwaza’s family told The Sunday Times recently that they are convinced their child died of natural causes as he was also suffering from sickle-cell anaemia.
Luanar students requested MHRC to conduct investigations of the matter after Kamwaza died.
Meanwhile, Police spokesperson James Kadadzera declined to comment on the matter, saying he has not yet seen the report.

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