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Further information on UA 329/92 (AFR 36/40/92, 22 October and follow-up AFR 36/41/92, 4 November) - Malawi: death in custody of prisoner of conscience / legal concern: Orton Chirwa, Vera Chirwa, Reverend Aaron Longwe, a schoolboy and a school receptionis

, N° d'index: AFR 36/044/1992

Vera Chirwa, 60-year-old prisoner of conscience and widow of Orton Chirwa, also a prisoner of conscience, who died on 20 October 1992, has been allowed to receive a visit from her children, who were visiting Malawi for the funeral of their father. In a previous follow-up to this Urgent Action (AFR 36/42/92) it was stated that the funeral had passed off peacefully. AI has since learned that, although the ceremony itself was peaceful, youths reportedly beat to death a person who had allegedly tried to throw a grenade at a vehicle carrying members of the Chirwa family.

EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 36/44/92
Distr: UA/SC
9 November 1992
Further information on UA 329/92 (AFR 36/40/92, 22 October 1992) and follow-up
AFR 36/41/92 of4 November 1992 - Death in custody of prisoner of
conscience/Legal concern
MALAWI:Orton CHIRWA, aged 73, lawyer and politician
Vera CHIRWA, female, aged 60, lawyer and politician
Reverend Aaron LONGWE, presbyterian minister
a schoolboy
a school receptionist
Amnesty International has learned that Vera Chirwa was allowed to receive a
visit from her children who were visiting Malawi to attend the funeral of her
husband, Orton Chirwa.
In the previous follow-up to this Urgent Action (AFR 36/42/92, 4 November 1992)
it was stated that Orton Chirwa's funeral passed off peacefully. Although
the ceremony itself was peaceful, youths are reported to have beaten to death
a person who was allegedly trying to throw a grenade at the vehicle carrying
members of the Chirwa family.
FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/faxes/express and
airmail letters in English or your own language:
- welcoming the decision to allow Vera Chirwa's children to visit her and calling
for her immediate and unconditional release.
- expressing concern at reports that several people, including Reverend Longwe,
were arrested because they had expressed concern about the death of Orton Chirwa
and seeking information about the whereabouts and legal basis for the detention
of the schoolboy and school receptionist arrested at the same time;
- calling for their immediate and unconditional release if they are still
detained and for the withdrawal of criminal charges against Reverend Longwe;
- calling for an inquest into the death of Orton Chirwa, in accordance with
the Inquests Act.
APPEALS TO:
1. President:
His Excellency the Life-President Dr H Kamuzu Banda
Office of the President and Cabinet
P/Bag 301
Lilongwe 3
Malawi
Telegrams: Life-President Banda, Lilongwe, Malawi
Telexes: 44389 PRES MI; 44766 JUSTICE MI; 44113 EXTERNAL MI
Faxes: +265 731878
Salutation: Your Excellency
Page 2 of 2FU 329/92
2. Minister of State in the Office of the President:
Hon. J Z U Tembo
Minister of State in the Office of the President
P/Bag 301
Lilongwe 3
Malawi
Telegrams: Minister of State Tembo, Lilongwe, Malawi
Telexes: 44389 PRES MI; 44766 JUSTICE MI; 44113 EXTERNAL MI
Faxes: +265 731878
Salutation: Dear Minister
3. Minister of Justice:
Hon. F L Makuta
Minister of Justice
P/Bag 333
Lilongwe 3
Malawi
Telegrams: Justice Minister Makuta, Lilongwe, Malawi
Telexes: 44766 JUSTICE MI
Salutation: Dear Minister
COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:
Commissioner of Prisons
PO Box 28
Zomba
Malawi
and to diplomatic representatives of MALAWI accredited to your country.
PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat,
or your section office, if sending appeals after 21 December 1992.

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