Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has urged government to come up with legislation against war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture.
The body’s appeal comes following the Extraordinary African Chambers (EAC)sentencing of former Chadian dictator, Hissene Habre, over crimes against humanity, rape and torture.
Habre, 73, who ruled Chad from 1982 until his deposition in 1990, was sentenced to life in prison on Monday this week in Dakar, Senegal for crimes against humanity, in the first African Union-backed trial of a former ruler.
Speaking from Dakar in an interview Wednesday after witnessing Habre’s sentencing, CHRR advocacy coordinator Fletcher Simwaka said the trial was a moment of reflection for Malawi regarding its legal position on crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide and war aggression.
“This trial should impress upon our government to consider coming up with legislation to criminalise serious human rights atrocities,” said Simwaka.
Already, the Constitution has a progressive Bill of Rights which reflects well on other international human rights instruments such as the African Charter on People and Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
“This could be domesticated through a piece of legislation as so far, only genocide is criminalised in the country’s Penal Code,” added Simwaka.
Habre’s condemnation culminated a 17-year battle by victims of his rule to bring him to justice. n