High Court rules detention of children in police custody is unlawful

The High Court sitting in Blantyre on Friday found the lower court’s orders of detaining children in police cells as unlawful.

The judgement was made following an application by eight children who were remanded at Limbe Police Station for various offences.

In his ruling, Justice John Chirwa, stated that the applicants’ detention at Limbe Police Station was unlawful, and further ordered their immediate release from custody.

The court agreed with the applicants and stated that the detention of the Applicants in police custody interfered with their health, physical, psychological, emotional growth and development, which is contrary to section 23 of the Constitution and Article 3 of the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC).

The court went further to state that the lower court did not inspect or have knowledge of the environment they were remanding the children in as they did not find out whether the environment had adequate provision and recreation facilities.

The children were represented by Chikondi Chijozi of Southern Africa Litigation Centre and Ruth Kaima of Center for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA).

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