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In memorial of Kaya: Women’s militants together with Kaya’s widow demonstrate at Caudan Waterfront to demand justice!

11.08.2003

11 women’s from the Women’s Liberation Movement (MLF) including the widow of Kaya, demonstrated peacefully last Sunday night at the Port Louis Waterfront. This was the 11th symbolical monthly demonstration organized by the MLF to demand justice for Kaya, who was found dead in police cell during the night of 21st and 22nd of February 1999.

Despite massive riots in February 1999, despite ongoing public outcries, despite 10 months of demonstrations by Kaya widow, Mrs. Veronique Topize, together with the MLF, up to now no police officers have prosecuted.

For this 11th demonstration the MLF has decided to write to the Minister of Justice to now ask for his resignation.

Here is the full text of the letter addressed to the Minister of Justice and Human Rights by the MLF

Muvman Liberasyon Fam
Registered Association No. 1595
Ragoo Lane
Bambous
9th August, 2003

Mr. Emmanuel Leung Shing, MLA,
Minister of Justice and Human Rights,
Government House, Port Louis.

Dear Sir,

We are hereby publicly calling on you to resign as Minister of Justice and Human Rights.
Our Association on 10th October 2002 publicly called on you to take your responsibility concerning the unacceptable delay in laying charges against the police officers who wounded the musician, Kaya (Joseph Reginald Topize) in police custody. His wounds (30 in all) included strange circular marks that look as though they were inflicted through some form of torture. At least one of the wounds was fatal, maybe two were.
You made no public statement following our public call to you to make a statement.
A month later we wrote to you demanding a public report as to what your Ministry intends to do about the prosecution of the police officers who were on duty.
You did not reply.
You did not even acknowledge receipt of our letter.
One would be tempted to think, by your arrogance, that you were not elected to office by the people of this country. You seem to think yourself unaccountable to the public.
A few months ago there was a “leak” in L’Express that Magistrate Kam Sing had submitted his report to the DPP. Was the press article just made up by reporters? The “leaked” article even claimed that Mr. Kam Sing had found no evidence of foul play. You never bothered, as Minister of Justice and Human Rights to ensure that some officer of the State either confirm or deny this “news”. You do not care about the feelings of those to whom Kaya was a loved one.
We, as a women’s association, intend to stand by Kaya’s widow, Mrs. Veronique Topize, until the truth is uncovered in relation to the death at the hands of the State of her late husband, this gentle and creative musician, this man who every day used to cook the evening meal for his wife and two children.
The lack of response from you as Minister of Human Rights makes us wonder. Is there some kind of political cover-up going on? By the State?
Why are charges not laid against the officers on duty?
How could someone who the Police admit was in good health and without any injury when he was brought to Line Barracks to give a statement, then suffer 30 new wounds, enough to kill him, without those present even being charged? We remind you that some of the wounds were on his back. We remind you that the backs of Kaya’s feet bore marks of a door closed heavily on them. He could not have inflicted those marks on his own feet. The police officers’ presence is clearly a prima facie case against them.
We call on you to resign. We will be calling on the Prime Minister to revoke you as Minister because of your irresponsibility on this important dossier of great public interest. It is this kind of irresponsibility about serious offenses by officers of the State that brings a bad reputation to Mauritius. It is your kind of behavior which is against the interests of the people of this country.

Yours sincerely
For MLF