Barely three days after The Daily Times Friday Shaker brought to light the story of Yohane Mkoko, a suspect who was tightly handcuffed for days in a police cell at Ndirande Police Station, Human Right Defenders Coalition (HRDC) has called for the suspension of all police officers involved pending investigation.
In a statement, which HRDC Executive Director Gift Trapence has signed, the coalition asks the Independent Complaints Commission to ensure that justice prevails in the matter.
“We would like to bring to your honourable office the issue of Yohane Mkoko (35) who was detained and handcuffed at Ndirande Police Station in Blantyre. The facts of the matter, as per the Malawi Police Service (MPS) admission, are that Mkoko was arrested on suspicion of breaking into a building and theft of property. During his 10-day detention at the station, he was kept in tight handcuffs that have resulted in blisters and huge wounds on his wrists,” the statement reads.
“…As videos and photos of the victim do exhibits, the victim has suffered extensive damage inflicted by the handcuffs,” it adds.
Meanwhile, MPS has said investigations into the matter are underway.
In a statement which MPS spokesperson James Kadadzera issued and signed on Saturday, the law enforcers say they are committed to establishing circumstances that led to the handcuffing of a suspect in a police cell.
“The MPS, through the Professional Standards Unit, is keenly following up the matter to get to the bottom of the issue,’’ the statement reads.
Mkoko, who is from Mtambalika Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kapeni in Blantyre, was arrested on May 10 2021 on suspicion that he broke into a building and stole items.