Amnesty piles pressure over Mojakhomo

Amnesty piles pressure over Mojakhomo

MASERU – AMNESTY International and the Transformation Resource Centre (TRC) have called on the government to institute an independent investigation on ’Makarabo Mojakhomo’s whereabouts. In a statement titled ‘Lesotho: End enforced disappearance of ’Makarabo Mojakhomo’ released last week the two human rights advocacy groups said they were concerned about Mojakhomo’s safety.

Mojakhomo, who was a director for the ’Maesaia Thabane Trust Fund, disappeared on May 31 two days after the police arrested her on suspicions that she had defrauded the Fund.
Her husband Thabang Mojakhomo was arrested a day later on the same charge but has since been released on bail.
The Mojakhomo family filed a habeas corpus application in the High Court seeking an order instructing the Commissioner of Police Molibeli Holomo to produce her dead or alive.
The police say they are searching for her.

Mojakhomo was last seen by her family on May 30. The police say she disappeared from custody.
Now Amnesty International and TRC say the government must “immediately carry out independent and effective investigations with a view to determining her fate and whereabouts”.
“Anyone suspected to be responsible for her disappearance must be brought to justice in fair trials,” the organisations say.

They say their fear is that Mojakhomo “may have been subjected to cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment and enforced disappearance” by the police.
Amnesty International says it has documented similar cases in the past and worries that this is an emblematic case of what may constitute a culture of impunity in the country.
“The refusal of police authorities to disclose the whereabouts of ’Makarabo is deeply troubling.”

“The organisations note with great concern the history of extra-judicial executions, torture and other ill-treatment in Lesotho.”
“The organisations fear that if ’Makarabo is not produced in a court of law as a matter of urgency, she could become another victim of enforced disappearances.”
The two organisations have also called on the government to provide Mojakhomo’s family with accurate and regular information about her safety and whereabouts.
The statement reminds the government that enforced disappearances are crimes under international law.

Staff Reporter

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