The Malawi Police Service has dismissed a report by the Centre for Human Rights Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) alleging a systematic scheme to purge hardcore criminals.
A statement released by the National Police Spokesperson James Kadadzera says the police does not engage in the alleged killings.
CHREAA recently released a report based on an Investigation into Police extra-judicial killings in Malawi, exposing what it described as systematic killings of hardcore criminals.
The report alleges that at least 28 suspected hardcore criminals and convicts are known to have been killed by police officers in a clandestine operation dubbed “Elimination”.
“The nation should be assured that the Malawi Police Service never kills suspects that have been arrested and are in custody.
“As such, there are no extra-judicial killings as alleged in the report,” reads the statement in part.
Kadadzera, however, said there are instances where police officers have exchanged fire with armed robbers.
“In these instances, police officers have been wounded and killed whilst in others; the robbers have been shot dead or wounded in the ensuing crossfire,” reads the statement.
The statement did not tackle the statistical aspects of those killed in the cross fire.
According to the police, ex-convicts are not targeted for extra-judicial killings but are more inclined to be hardened during their time in prison.
“Some of them get hardened whilst serving prison terms and as such, they are more likely to exchange fire with police officers,” writes Kadadzera.
He stressed that the Malawi Police Service will remain vigilant and professional in dealing with all cases of armed robberies in the country.
Coincidentally, the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) also released a damning report highlighting alleged abuse by police officers in Lilongwe during protests that ensued in the aftermath of the elections.
The report released on Tuesday alleges that some police officers raped 13 women, and sexually abused four children – one girl defiled and three other girls sexually assaulted – in Lilongwe’s Mbwatalika and Mpingu areas.
The ugly incidents ensued following the killing of police officer Ousmane Imedi during an operation to quell violent protests.
Meanwhile, police has reportedly instituted an internal probe into the alleged brutal conduct by some of its own officers.