UN rights office urges probe into Malawi crackdown

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The UN human rights office called Friday on Malawian authorities to investigate allegations of serious violations committed by security forces during a crackdown on anti-government protests.

"We have been following with great concern the reports of human rights violations in the context of last weeks anti-government demonstrations in Malawi," said Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"We call on the government to stop the use of force and urge prompt, impartial and transparent investigations into these allegations of grave human rights violations," she added.

At least 19 people were killed during a police crackdown against anti-government demonstrations in Malawi, and more than 275 people arrested across the country.

"We urge the government to cease the use of mass arrests and threats to silence opponents," said Shamdasani.

© 2011 AFP

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