A family in Machinjiri is alleging that one of their members, Levi Njiwa, is battling for his life following some merciless beating by police officers at Area 5 police unit, Machinjiri in Blantyre
According to one of his relatives, the alleged victim was arrested on Wednesday last week, December 2, 2020 following some misunderstandings with his friends that culminated in a fierce fight. This happened in the same Machinjiri township.
“He was thrown into police cell and had been under police custody until on Tuesday, December 8, when he was taken to court to be formally charged. However, when the magistrate at Blantyre noticed that our relative was in a very bad shape following suspected heavy beating and torture in the police cell, he ordered his unconditional release so that he may be given immediate medical attention,” brother to Levi, Mallion Njiwa told Nyasa Times in an interview on Wednesday.
According to him, when Levi was picked by the police on Wednesday last week, they denied him bail for no apparent reason.
“We pleaded with the police to grant him police bail or take him to court for charging but they denied him that right. We were extremely worried because we realised Levi had suffered seizures possibly due to trauma. He has bruises and deep cuts all over his body,” said the brother while in tears.
He said while under police custody and in the injured state, the family pleaded with the police to take Levi to hospital but they refused.
According to Mallion, although the court has released Levi, the police have refused to give them an official report necessary for accessing medical assistance.
The family is seeking authorities’ immediate intervention in this matter.
According to the brother, they are seeking plausible explanation from authorities why the police kept Levi under police custody for almost one week even after the elapse of 48 hour legal provision with regard to criminal suspects.
“We’re wondering that is it proper for police to brutalize a citizen to this extent while in their custody before being proven guilty? Are we not in a democratic country where rights of citizens must always be protected and respected?
“We’re optimistic Malawi government authorities will assist us get the right answers regarding the unfair and barbaric treatment that Levi endured at the hands of the police. Is this not the same way Buleya Lule died.
“Apart from government, we also wish to request the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) and other relevant human rights organisations to make necessary investigation into our brother’s ordeal,” pleaded Mallion.
Mallion said this may look like a small issue but the family would greatly appreciate authorities’ intervention. He said his brother is still lying in agony at home and that they have nowhere to take him to “since no hospital would want to assist someone in such a state without an official police report”.
Officers at Machinjiri Area 5 police station refused to give any comment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :