Punish police for abusing villagers, AI asks Madagascar

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By Staff Reporter

Amnesty International has asked the Madagascar government t investigate and punish police officers that physically abused villagers last.

On February 22 last year, police officers burnt down five villages in Antsakabary town in northern Madagascar, after two of their colleagues were allegedly killed by villagers four days earlier.

An elderly woman died from burns during the attack, as she was unable to escape.

The two police officers had come to arrest villagers accused of stealing a duck but were met by other villagers who accused them of racketeering, resulting in violence.

A video of such police brutality went viral, and it was verified by Amnesty International.

And responding to the video, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa Deprose Muchena said there was no justification for such brutality.

“The behaviour of the police, as depicted in the video, is utterly abhorrent and condemnable. This brutality shows the contempt with which the police in Madagascar treat human life,” said Muchena in a statement on Thursday.

“It is totally unacceptable that the Malagasy police should ill-treat and abuse the same people they have a duty to protect. There is no justification for beating people with sticks, forcing them to lie face-down or making them walk on their knees.The authorities should carry out a prompt and impartial investigation into the police’s conduct and bring any officer suspected to be responsible to justice in proceedings that meet international standards. The authorities should also provide redress to the victims.”

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