HRC prodded over inmates’ rights
THE Human Rights Commission (HRC) should intensify inspections in correctional services facilities, says Democratic Governance for Human Rights and Advocacy (DEGHA) director Gerald Mutelo.
DEGHA said this in the light of President Edgar Lungu`s directive to newly-appointed Zambia Correctional Services Commissioner-General Dr Chisela Chileshe to treat inmates with dignity.
Mr Mutelo said the HRC should regularly conduct inspections to check if the correctional service was observing the Presidential directive.
He said in an interview in Ndola that the HRC should conduct investigations by talking to inmates on their welfare and how they were being treated by officers.
By conversing with the inmates, he said, the commission would get more insight about the welfare of inmates and advise on the need to improve.
“It is important for the Human Rights Commission to talk to the inmates to get information on how they are treated in these correctional facilities. However, this should be done in the absence of their warders,” he said.
Mr Mutelo commended the Head of State for the directive, stating that there could be information that inmates were being ill-treated.
He said despite being in conflict with the law, inmates were human beings who needed to be treated with dignity.
He said while the country was progressing and undergoing development, it was important to involve the inmates in the growth agenda particularly in the agriculture sector.
Mr Mutelo said inmates should instead be embraced in the development agenda in various sectors because some of them were skilled in various disciplines.