Human rights body apply for inquest on dead student

Lilongwe – The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has applied for a court permission to exhume the remains of University of Malawi constituent college of Polytechnic student to conduct an independent autopsy. The 25 year old student was mysteriously found dead in a pool of his own blood last Saturday morning on the college campus in the commercial city of Blantyre. A police statement announced that the forth year mechanical engineering student Robert Chasowa committed suicide at the end of his run from the law following his involvement in an anti-government publications that alleged that government operatives were behind the arson attacks on the properties of civil society leaders in charge of mass protests against president Bingu wa Mutharika’s wilting economic and political governance performance.

MHRC chairperson John Kapito said his organization had decided to step into the matter following claims that the final year college student may have been murdered because of his political interests. “We do not dispute the police claims but then we want to establish an independent inquiry to ascertain the cause of this death that has brought about so much talk,’ he said. An earlier postmortem state that Chasowa died of head injuries sustained at the back of his head. The police believe the student may have thrown himself from a two story building to his death. However, fellow students have refused to accept the earlier postmortem report and police explanation and have meanwhile chased all security guards on campus saying they (the students) do not feel adequately protected. They wonder how the guards could not have noticed the “suicide fall” on the night of the death. Kapito said that his organization will conduct an inquest in line with the Instabul Protocol and the Convention against any form of torture in coming up with an independent report which shall be released to the general public.

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