People with albinism have suspended a vigil which they have been holding since Wednesday in Lilongwe on what Association of People with Albinism (Apam) officials say safety and security concerns.
This follows the violent clashes with the police on Saturday when the police forcibly removed them from the M1 road at MIM in Lilongwe where they had camped to force president Peter Mutharika invite them for a meeting to discuss their safety following an increased spate of killings.
Association of People with Albinism (APAM) president seriously assaulted by police and was admitted to hospital whilst seven other people with albinism were arrested.
Spokesperson for APAM Nellie Salima said the organization decided to suspend the vigil at MIM after clashes with the police, saying they no longer trusted the police after the attack.
After the clashes, APAM engaged Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) and ombudsman.
Ombudsman Martha Chizuma confirmed that she was called by the panic and desperate persons with albinos doing the assault by the police.
“We immediately rushed there but the situation by then was calm. We called OPC and Gender and Disability ministry officials over the issue who came for an urgent meeting to resolve the matter,” said Chizuma.
Chizuma said APAM wanted an immediate meeting with Mutharika but Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) officials said it was not possible as the president was away in the south.
Meanwhile, the seven persons with albinism who were arrested were released yesterday after being charged with conduct likely to cause breach of peace.
Police spokesperson James Kadadzera has said the seven were given police bail pending their appearance in court.
“In fact, we did not place them in police cell. We just charged them and released them immediately,” said Kadadzera.
He said it was surprising that people who want protection from the police went on rampage, causing havoc.
Apam want Malawi to be declared an unsafe zone and they will seek help so that people with albinism seek asylum in other countries.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :