The Human Rights Commission (HRC/Commission) strongly condemns the reported torturing of a woman by the Zambia Police Service in Mpongwe District on the Copperbelt Province.

The video of a named woman circulating on various social media platforms in which she is complaining that she had suffered a broken spine at the hands of some police officers in Mpongwe District is extremely disturbing and a grave violation of the absolute right to protection against torture and other ill-treatment.

The Commission calls upon the police command to immediately investigate the matter and arrest the perpetrators of the heinous crime of torture so that they are subjected to the due process of the law in order to end impunity. The Commission will also carryout its own independent investigations and work towards securing redress for the victim.

The Commission has over the years continued receiving complaints from victims of torture who have suffered permanent disabilities as a result of aggravated assault by some police officers.

In the current case, Ms. Mary Mwansa of Mpongwe District complained that  her backbone was allegedly broken by some police officers who beat her for complaining about the alleged acquittal of a police officer who had defiled her 14 year – old daughter. This case simply confirms the prevalence of acts of torutre and other cruel, inhuman or degraditing treatment or punishment being inflicted on suspects and ordinary people by police officers.

The Commission therefore calls on the Government to demonstrate zero tolerance against acts of torture by publicly condmening police brutality against suspects. Further, the Government must enact a comprehensive law that criminalises acts of torutre and other cruel, inhuman or degraditing treatment or punishment as a demonstration of its commitment to ending the violations and meeting its international human rights obligations.

Finally, as one of the immediate remedial measures, the Commission is appealing to the Government and other well-wishers to consinder rendering the necessary support to the victim to mitigate her challenges caused by her physical impairment as a result of police brutality.

(Original Signed)

Mweelwa Muleya



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