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THE Human Rights Commission (HRC) has welcomed the directive by President Edgar Lungu to the Zambia Correctional Services (ZCS) to treat inmates with dignity.

HRC spokesperson Mweelwa Muleya. said the guidance by President Lungu when he swore in the new ZCS Commissioner-General, Chisela Chileshe to respect the rights and dignity of inmates was extremely significant, particularly that it is coming from the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces under which the ZCS falls.

In a statement issued yesterday, he said HRC welcomed President Lungu’s directive because it was consistent with the Government’s human rights obligations.

Mr Muleya said that the President has demonstrated commitment to respecting the rights of inmates while at the same time acknowledging the numerous historical challenges facing the inmates.

“The Commission agrees with President Lungu that there has been improvements in some Correctional Facilities in the recent past and that more still needed to be done for Zambia to meet the United Nations (UN) Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of ‘Prisoners’, which the UN revised and renamed as The Mandala Rules in 2015,” he said.

Mr Muleya said there was need for scaling up the infrastructure development programme of modernising and constructing new Correctional Facilities to ensure that inmates were kept in habitable conditions.

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