ZAMBIA SHOULD ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
January 14, 2016: Florence Chibwesha, Director of the Human Rights Commission of Zambia told the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender matters and Child Affairs that Zambia must abolish the death penalty as it was against the enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights. Ms Chibwesha said Zambia should ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aimed at abolishing death penalty. âIn any case, Zambia is already practicing this through commutation of sentencesâ Ms. Chibwesha said. She added that Zambia must enact a law criminalizing torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishments.
Ms Chibwesha also said that there was need to review the provisions of sections 123 and 33 of the criminal procedure code which made all offences punishable by death unbailable as they violated the constitutional protection of the presumption of innocent under article 18, and therefore, a violation of fundamental human rights. Ms Chibwesha said a human rights based approach should be used in addressing root causes of offences punishable by death rather than resorting to death penalty for offences which were mere manifestations of deep-rooted causes such as social, economic, political and cultural or any other challenges. The focus should be on giving real attention and adequate resources to addressing the root causes of atrocious crimes, particularly in todayâs modern and globalised world. (Source: 15 January 2016, The Zambia Daily Nation)