Government to criminalize torture in Zambia-Lubinda
Justice Minister Given Lubinda says government will undertake legislative and other measures to prevent torture.
Speaking when he received the anti-torture draft bill and a report on the criminalisation of torture in Zambia from the Zambia Law Development Commission and the Human Rights Commission today, Mr Lubinda says the act of torture is a fundamental violation of human rights.
He states that criminalisation of torture fits well with government’s efforts to meet its various human rights obligations in its efforts to improve governance by providing better access to justice for the people of Zambia.
Mr Lubinda has since commended the Zambia law development commission for its role in facilitating the law reform process to enact legislation to criminalize torture in the country.
Mr. Lubinda has also hailed the Swedish government for offering financial support in the law reform process to criminalize the vice.
And the ZLDC Chairperson Justice Roydah Kaoma has stated that acts of torture have been devastating with often long lasting physical, mental and psychological effects on victims.
Justice Kaoma says some forms of torture related cases reported to the commission include severe beatings by the law enforcement officers, hanging of victims upside down and striping the victims naked.
She says these acts are cruel, inhuman and degrading.
Meanwhile Human Rights Commission Chairperson Medford Mwandenga said the anti-torture draft bill is a culmination of over two years of consultations and submissions from a wide range of key stakeholders.
Mr Mwandenga notes that there is no enabling legislation that either defines or prescribes penalties for perpetrators or remedies for the victims of torture in the country.
He says government should therefore redress such lacunas by enacting the law criminalizing torture in order to promote and protect the inherent dignity and inviolable rights of individuals.