The Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa) Malawi Chapter and Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) have condemned the continued assault and arrest of journalists by the Malawi Police Service (MPS) while on their line of duty.
This follows the latest assault and detention of journalist from private Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS).
The journalist, John Paul Kayuni , was assaulted by cops on Saturday afternoon in Lilongwe for taking pictures during protests staged by the Association of People with Albinism along the M1 road.
The police officers brutally ordered him to delete the pictures he had taken.
The journalist claim to have been hit on the head and on the body resulting into severe headache and body pains.
After the incident, Kayuni was reffered to Africa Bible College Hospital for a thorough medical check-up.
MISA Malawi Chairperson Teleza Ndanga described the incident as “a shock” despite assurances by Malawi Police Service and President Peter Muthatika that journalists will be given all the room to discharge their duties freely.
“MISA Malawi is shocked that the Malawi Police Service (MPS) continues to assault journalists on duty despite several assurances by MPS leadership that journalists would not be assaulted at the hands of the law enforcers,” said Ndanga through a statement seen by Nyasa Times.
In June 2018 the police assaulted and detained journalists Musase Cheyo and Towera Kumwenda for allegedly taking pictures of the law enforcers evicting vendors from the streets of Mzuzu.
It is allerged that the two journalists sustained soft tissue injuries and were referred to Mzuzu Health Centre for medical attention.
Cheyo and Kumwenda had been granted permission by the police to cover the eviction but some officers assaulted the two journalists and tried to confiscate their camera.
MISA Malawi has since sent an appeal to MPS to practice transformation as claimed.
“We condemn police brutality and demand true transformation of the MPS. We believe police reforms should translate into meaningful change in the way that the law enforcers operate” Ndanga said.
The HRDC, led by Timothy Mtambo, Gift Trapence and Charles Kajoloweka, has also added its voice to condemn the attack of the journalist, saying it was not only an attack on media freedom but also an insult to Malawi’s hard–earned democracy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :