Outrage over undressing of Malawi female cop: Worlec says unacceptable

Women Legal Resources Centre (WOLREC) has condemned undressing of a female Criminal Investigations Department (CID) officer who was carrying out her duties during the August 6 2019 Anti-Jane Ansah demonstrations organised by the Human Rights Defenders Coalition.

Maggie Kathewera Banda : Unacceptable
Protesters strip naked female police officer

In a statement issued on Thursday, WOLREC Executive Director, Maggie Kathewera Banda said the organisation fails to comprehend how purported law abiding citizens could inflict such kind of violence on an innocent officer.

“This is a clear example of Gender-Based Violence as the officer has been attacked that way because she is a woman.

“This is sad as it is coming at a time when organisations such as ourselves have been working to curb this vice,” said Kathewera Banda.

She said Section 19 of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi clearly states that the dignity of all persons shall be inviolable.

“Furthermore, Section 137(3) of The Penal Code stipulates that whoever intends to insult the modesty of any woman, utters any word, makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object intending that such word or sound shall be heard, or that gesture or object shall be seen, by such a woman shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable to imprisonment for one year,” she said.

She further said in the foregoing, WOLREC is demanding the HRDC and political leaders who have been part and parcel of the protests to put in place measures that guarantee safety of women during protests.

“HRDC and political leaders should condemn all forms of Gender-Based Violence targeted against women

“We also demand the Malawi Police Service to investigate and bring to book perpetrators of the violence,” said Kathewera Banda.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has strongly condemned the act saying they will seek justice in this case.

A statement signed by Minister of Gender, Mary Navicha said the Ministry has noted with great concern that a police woman who was in the line of duty was beaten and undressed in Lilongwe on August 6, 2019.

“It is unbelievable that she was undressed in full view of the organisers of the demonstrations. The act of undressing a woman is wrong both legally as well as morally,” said Navicha.

She said the silence from high level officials as well as organisers of the demonstrations clearly demonstrates that they endorsed this incident.

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