Malawi govt risks classic suit from immigrants for ‘illegal detained’ in prison

A civil rights organization has warned government that it risks a classic law suit from immigrants whom the state continues to hold in prisons instead of deporting them.

Mhango addressing prisoners

Mhango addressing prisoners

Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance Victor Mhango said the government continues to hold 119 immigrants from Ethiopia in the country’s prisons.

“This is illegal. The immigrants, guilty on immigration laws are supposed to be in detention centres not prisons. The sad thing is that most of them, who were sent to prison, completed their prison terms long ago and yet the government continues to hold them in prisons. This is illegal detention,” he said.

He said 40 of the 119 immigrants are children yet they are still kept at Maula Prison in Lilongwe.

“They are in very pathetic conditions. The children are all malnourished. The government is just getting bad image for nothing, why not release and deport them? Very soon the government will get a law suit and the tax payer will pay for the government mistakes,” he said.

Mhango said in addition, keeping 119 prisoners is expensive, saying releasing them would cut on costs of running the prisons.

Immigration authorities said the government has no money to deport the 119 immigrants, saying the exercise would start as soon as money has been identified.

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4 thoughts on “Malawi govt risks classic suit from immigrants for ‘illegal detained’ in prison”

  1. Jelbin Makamo says:

    Mr Mwale you don’t understand unlawful detention, South Africa is a very professional country they don’t flaut laws as our country does they don’t risk as these clueless government does. In SA once the law is twisted you just aproach private law practitioners who take the government to court on your behalf. And as am saying now those who had exceeded the time provided by the law are being released because they don’t want to waste money for unreasonable things that could be prevented. And i swear to you, no one whether a foreigner or native South African is held in prison exceeding the term limit that the court sentenced the person for. Once you finish serving a sentence your continued stay in prison is illegal and you can be compensated according to a number of those extra days you spend in prison. The reason that government does not have money can not hold water in a court of law. Common sense is not is what our government lacks, honestly keeping these immigrants is very expensive than releasing them the same with keeping refugees in camps.

  2. Andy Mwale says:

    What class action? Every country has a right to protect itself from undesirable elements. Can the same people go to South Africa and sue the SA government for the many Malawians currently held at the Lindela Detention Centre before they go around displaying their foolishness.

    1. JK Sims says:

      I think you did not read boss.. The problem is keeping them in prison.. Lindela is not prison its a detention centre.. They are not criminals and they must not be put together with criminals. If SA was putting Malawians in the notorious sun city prison… imagine how bad that would have been!!!

    2. khesha says:

      I understand this guy explained better that detention center is the best place and not prison I wonder if the two are the same

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