©LAWILINK/Amnesty International

Malawi: Convictions over 2018 killing of a man with albinism a victory for justice

In response to the conviction of 12 men over the 2018 killing of MacDonald Masambuka, a person with albinism,Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, said:

These convictions represent a victory for justice, human rights and the rule of law

Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International's Director for East and Southern Africa

“These convictions represent a victory for justice, human rights and the rule of law. The fact that 12 people were involved in this appalling crime, including Mark’s biological brother, shows the depths of discrimination that persons with albinism face in Malawi. It’s an ugly, outdated, and dangerous practice that needs to be prevented and eradicated once and for all.

The criminal justice system must be strengthened so that these cases are thoroughly, independently, transparently and effectively  investigated and perpetrators are finally held to account

Deprose Muchena

“Too many innocent people with albinism have lost their lives in terribly cruel circumstances, with many of those suspected to be responsible still roaming free. The criminal justice system must be strengthened so that these cases are thoroughly, independently, transparently and effectively  investigated and perpetrators are finally held to account. Authorities must provide victims and their families with access to justice and effective remedies.”

Background

MacDonald Masambuka, a 22-year-old man from Nakawa village, in Machinga district, southern Malawi, was disappeared on 9 March 2018. He left his home to buy a mat in the company of a friend. His body was found buried in a shallow grave on 1 April.

Of the 12 men convicted, five were found responsible for murder while seven were convicted of offences relating to the murder including playing a role in luring Mark, trafficking his body parts, and other offences.