Police urged to investigate officers involved in reported torture of woman in Mpongwe district


The Human Rights Commission (HRC) has called on the police command to investigate the reported torture of a woman by some officers of Mpongwe District.

A named woman in a video circulating on various social media platforms was seen complaining that she had suffered a broken spine at the hands of some police officers in Mpongwe District.

Commission Spokesperson, Mweelwa Muleya, in a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday, called for the arrest of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

Mweelwa, who condemned the act, stated that such officers should be subjected to due process of the law in order to end impunity.

“It is extremely disturbing and a grave violation of the absolute right to protection against torture and other ill-treatment,” he said.

Mweelwa indicated that the Commission would also carry out 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,” he said.

Mweelwa identified the woman in the current case as Mary Mwansa of Mpongwe District on the Copperbelt Province.

He said Mwansa 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,” Mweelwa stated.

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He called on the government to demonstrate zero tolerance against acts of torture by publicly condmening police brutality against suspects.

Mweela also noted the need for the government to enact a comprehensive law that criminalises acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degraditing treatment.

“This should include punishment as a demonstration of its commitment to ending the violations and meeting its international human rights obligations,” he demanded.

He also appealed to the government and other well-wishers to consider rendering necessary support to the victim to mitigate the challenges caused by her physical impairment as a result of alleged police brutality.

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