Isoka prisoners abuse irks Human Rights Commission

prison arrest
prison arrest

The Human Rights Commission is appalled by the manner inmates, especially those on remand at Isoka Prison are being treated by the prison authorities as well as fellow inmates.
Commission Spokesperson Samuel Kasankha says during its continued tour of police and prison cells in Northern and Muchinga Provinces, the Commission visited Isoka Prison on Sunday 18 August, 2013 were it was discovered that authorities have resorted to treating suspects in cruel, inhuman and degrading manner, contrary to the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of Prisoners, the Prisoners Act, which outlaws corporal punishment and the republican constitution.
Mr Kansakha in tells QFM News in a statement that the ill treatment of prisoners at Isoka prison follows a break out where a number of inmates escaped on 8th August,2013.
He says at the time of the HRC inspection male suspects appealed to the Commission for protection claiming they would be treated harshly after the Commission had left.
Mr Kasankha adds that the inmates complained to the Commission that they are locked up in the cells even during the day and that some named officers, including the Officer-in-Charge, subject them to beatings every day using whips made out of motor vehicle tyres.
He says a number of inmates had visible scars while others had fresh wounds sustained from the beatings.
Mr Kasankha further reveals that inmates are denied visits by relatives, which has resulted in those who have been granted bail by the courts to fail to communicate with relatives so that sureties could sign them out.
He says what is equally disheartening to the Human Rights Commission are the levels of ignorance of the law shown by some officers who argued that they had the right to beat the suspects when they committed offences.
Mr Kasankha says the Commission is calling upon the Prisons Service to urgently follow up this matter and restore order at Isoka Prison.
The Commission has further recommended that the Officer-in-Charge and the other officers named be removed to prevent further torture of suspects.