The Human Right Commission (HRC) has commended President Michael Sata for commuting death sentences of 113 prisoners at Mukobeko Maximum Security prison to life imprisonment and for pardoning 615 prisoners.
HRC Acting Chairperson Anold Kapelembi said the action taken by the President to release the prisoners in the country should be applauded by every well-meaning Zambian.
Mr. Kapelembi said President Sata’s commuting of death sentences to life imprisonment was in line with the Commission’s position not to retain the death penalty in the country’s constitution.
He said the Commission was also happy with the pardoning of prisoners with minor offences saying the move will help decongest the overcrowded prisons.
Mr. Kapelembi further commended President Sata and the Prisons Service for seriously taking into account the plight of prisoners in the country.
He has since appealed to the members of society to help the former prisoners integrate well in society.
He further called on the pardoned prisoners to engage in productive activities as one way of showing appreciation to the gesture shown by the Head of State.
During his address to the nation on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) on the eve of Africa Freedom Day, President Sata pardoned 615 inmates with minor offences countrywide while 113 have had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.