MISA Malawi condemns assault of journalist Patricia Kayuni by protesters

MISA Malawi condemns assault of journalist Patricia Kayuni by protesters

MISA Malawi would like to condemn in the strongest manner possible the assault of Tuntufye Radio journalist Patricia Kayuni by protesters in Chitipa district earlier today, Friday, January 10, 2020.

Kayuni was assaulted for allegedly taking pictures of the demonstrations near Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) offices in the district. The protesters beat up Kayuni, tried to undress her and broke her mobile phone. The police rescued Kayuni and took her to Chitipa District Hospital.

According to Kayuni, the protesters thought she was taking pictures using a mobile phone and they continued assaulting her despite showing them that the phone was off at the time.

“The gang pulled off my braids. Beat me up and for a minute, I thought I would die. Police took me to the hospital where I have been treated as an outpatient,” Kayuni told MISA Malawi.

MISA Malawi upholds the right to demonstrate. We, however, recognise the need to exercise the right to demonstrate in cognizance of other constitutional rights including media freedom and freedom of expression.

Kayuni was not taking pictures of the demonstrators but even if she were taking the pictures that would not be a crime. Journalism is not a crime.

MISA Malawi considers the attack barbaric and an affront to constitutional guarantees on media freedom and freedom of expression.

We would like to ask the Malawi Police Service to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.

Media contacts

MISA Malawi Chairperson Teresa Ndanga
Cell: +265 999 247 911 or email teresa.temweka@gmail.com
MISA Malawi National Director Aubrey Chikungwa
Cell: +265 999 327 311 or email info@misamalawi.org

About MISA Malawi

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Malawi was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.