HRDC worried over Malawian woman detained in China

The Human Rights Defenders Coalition of Malawi (HRDC) has bemoaned the information blackout about the welfare of a Malawian woman, Estina Mukasera who is facing the death penalty in China for drug trafficking.

Musekera, 29, was arrested by police in the People’s Republic of China in August 2018 after been found in possession of over 2 kilograms of cocaine .

HRDC chairperson, Robert Mkwezalamba, said the last information they got about the woman was before her previous appearance in court on January 14 this year but since then there has been silence including the details on the court outcomes.

Mkwezalamba said: “We had the information that she was due to appear before the court on 14th January and we believe the session took place but unfortunately we were unable to get what transpired in the court because our representative (court chaplain) was on leave from duties and our Beljing embassy representative did not attend the hearing.”

He further said previously they used to call the woman at any time they wish but due to new conditions imposed by the authorities in Belging, she has now been given only once a month to make contacts outside the prison.

Mkwezalamba however said the group is still pushing the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Members of Parliament and the Malawi Police Service to act swiftly on the matter to the extent that the Foreign Affairs ministry has organized a stakeholders meeting, scheduled for January 29, to discuss the matter.

When asked to comment on the matter, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba promised to give details through a questionnaire.

In July 2018 Malawi government released a statement expressing its concern over a number of young Malawian women being used by foreigners to traffic drugs where it revealed that two Malawian ladies were also arrested in Ethiopia for drug trafficking while another one is serving a seven year sentence for a similar offense.

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