The Human Rights Commission has expressed huge disappointment with the manner in which the police quelled disturbances at the University of Zambia last week when students took to the streets to protest over delays in the release of their project allowances.
Commission spokesperson Samuel Kasankha says as much as the commission despises the action by students to make their grievances known, what is of great concern to the commission is the regular reckless and excitement by police whenever called upon to maintain or restore law and order.
Mr. Kasankha says it is a fact that only a small number of students were involved in the blocking of the road and there was therefore no need for the police to throw teargas canisters into rooms where the majority of innocent students were either studying or resting.
In a statement to QFM, Mr. Kasankha says police must always exercise caution at all times and bear in mind than even when called upon to maintain law and order, they are dealing with human beings whose rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, must be preserved.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kasankha says the commission is delighted at the reported transfer of 600 inmates from Mukobeko maximum prison to the new Mwembeshi prison.
He says the development is a part fulfillment in the commission’s long held plea for de-congestion of prisons to ensure inmates are kept in more human conditions.
Mr. Kasankha however states that the commission will issue a more comprehensive statement on the matter once consultations are concluded with relevant authorities.