Zambia committed to hasten transfer of foreign prisoners

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—-The Zambian Government has expressed commitment in ensuring that delays associated with the transfer of foreign prisoners from Zambia to their countries of origin are reduced.

ZANIS reports that Zambia’s Commissioner of Prisons, Percy Chato, disclosed today that the Zambian prisons have 43 Angolan nationals in its custody countrywide undergoing rehabilitation.

Mr Chato noted that Angolan prisoners have been in custody in Zambia without contact with families in their home country due to long distances hence the realization by government to urgently formalize the treaty between the two countries on the transfer of inmates.

The Commissioner also observed that the move to formalize the treaty on the transfer of prisoners will further address the problem of overcrowding, capacity building, rehabilitation and re-integration of offenders which he said will in turn help meet the international minimum standard rules on the treatment of offenders and other international treaties on the rights of inmates where both countries are parties.

Mr Chato hoped that as Zambia and Angola prisons services work together in implementing the agreement on the transfer of convicted persons, other member states of the African Correctional Service Association (ACSA) will be part of the program in order for the association to move forward together.

And speaking at the same function, Angolan’s Ministry of Justice and International Exchange Director, Eurico Ndando, commended the Zambian Prisons Services for treating Angolan prisoners serving various sentences in a humane manner.

Mr Ndando noted that the signing of the treaty will go a long way in affording prisoners in serving their jail terms in their own country where integration will be easier.

The implementation and execution of the agreement on the transfer of convicted persons was signed in 2009 and seek to help countries share information on prisoners’ rehabilitation and social re-integration activities such as industrial, farming, spiritual training programs and formal education and many other areas that can assist in addressing the problems of overcrowding.