HRC prodded over in­mates’ rights

Daily Nation Newspaper - - KOPALA NEWS - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

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.

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