Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) says it is set to independently prosecute a case involving a police officer who defiled a 14-year-old girl while on remand at Chesepo Police Unit in Dowa.
MHRC executive secretary David Nungu said in an interview yesterday the matter is serious as defilement by a law enforcer is a gross violation of the child’s rights, as is the arrest of a minor.
He said: “We are geared to have it prosecuted independently. We will work with the police because we have seen the commitment of the Inspector General [Rodney Jose] on this matter.”
Nungu said the commission, police and Malawi Law Society (MLS) have since formed an independent panel to investigate the matter and find credible evidence to be used during prosecution.
“We hope to conclude the investigations within three days,” he said.
Nungu said the suspect, a police officer whose identity is not yet disclosed for security reasons, has been arrested. He also said the girl has since been put in a safe place.
Various organisations including MLS, Women Lawyers Association of Malawi, YouthNet and Counselling, Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance and Eye of the Child have shown interest in taking up the case.
On Tuesday, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said they were investigating the matter and that the culprit will be brought to book
The girl was arrested for allegedly using abusive language after being involved in a scuffle at school.
Medical reports which MHRC has accessed confirmed defilement occurred and the girl is still in pain but is on treatment