Demand for probe into Kaliati gay rape claims

The Human Rights Defenders (Malawi Chapter) has asked the Malawi Human Rights Commission to independently investigate the role of Information Minister Patricia Kaliati played in relation to both the attack and eventual arrest of prominent lawyer and activist Ralph Kasambala.

The garrulous Minister is on record to have stated that the arrest of Kasambala centers on homosexual rape.

But Kaliati laughed off the demand saying she had nothing to do with either Kasambala’s attack or arrest.

Kaliati maintained the freed suspects were beaten for refusing Kasambara’s advances for a sexual encounter.

Kaliati: Claimed homosexual rape

Former ruling United Democratic Front (UDF) director of research Humphrey Mvula said theory is “both serious and laughable because the three [suspected assassins] are hugely built people who cannot be overpowered by Kasambara for any reason.”

But Kasambara said he could not waste his time arguing with someone who he said wants to invent facts.

He claimed the three assailants confessed they went to his offices to attack him and they gave the same statements to police.

The Human Rights Defenders have also demanded the unconditional and immediate release of Kasambala saying “as we believe his charge is politically motivated.”

The watchdog said in a statement made available to Nyasa Times: “We also wish to warn government that it shall be accountable for any assault or death made on Human Rights Defenders and any citizen of this country”

The Malawi Chapter which comprises the following organisations, CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, Church and Society, Civic and Political Space Platform, Council for Non-Governmental Organization in Malawi, Human Rights Consultative Committee, Malawi Congress for the Trade Union, Malawi Diaspora Forum and The Governance Platform made the demand in a statement released on Wednesday.

Sources have disclosed to NyasaTimes that government wants to harm Kasambala.

“Or they want to charge him with murder of a sick inmate they want to purport as one of men allegedly beaten at Kasambala’s residence. They have already taken the inmate to Hospital and they can kill him just pin murder charges on Kasambala,” said the source.

But the CSOs have also warned Malawians to desist from being used by politicians as tools for political violence.

“Rather, we demand that government focuses on its obligation to address the myriad challenges facing the country rather than deliberately diverting the attention of Malawians through the use of state sponsored violence,” reads part of the statement.

The Human Rights Defenders also demanded that Government guarantees all fundamental freedoms including freedom of expression and opinion.

“We reiterate that theses rights and freedoms are nonnegotiable and should be respect and protected at all times. Government desists forthwith from use of intimidation or castigation against its own citizens as a mechanism to consolidate its power,” they said.

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