HRC hails President Lungu for pardoning 966 inmates
The Human Rights Commission has commended President Edger Lungu for pardoning 966 inmates in the exercise of his constitutional prerogative of mercy powers during the celebration of Zambia’s 56th Independence Anniversary on October 24, 2020.
Human Rights Commission Spokesperson Mweelwa Muleya says the pardoning of 886 men and 80 women from various correctional facilities across the country which is in line with Presidential Prerogative of Mercy Powers under Article 97 of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016 is a commendable gesture of compassionate and respect for human rights and freedoms of vulnerable individuals.
Mr Muleya said it was a notable human rights record that among the pardoned were inmates on death row, the aged, the chronically ill and others whose sentences were commuted from death to life sentences and from life sentences to terminable sentences.
“The Commission wants to call upon the pardoned ex-inmates not to betray the confidence and trust shown in them by refraining from re-offending and instead lead an exemplary life of being law-abiding citizens and of service to society at large,” he urged.
“Further, the Commission wants to implore families and community members to provide a conducive environment for successful re-integration of these Correctional Service Graduates by, among other measures, avoiding stigmatizing and discriminating them but accepting them as reformed individuals,” he said.
Mr Muleya has since commended the Zambia Correctional Service, various faith-based organizations, civil society organizations, the Private Sector and individuals for their continued guidance and counselling services as well as material, financial and spiritual support to inmates across the country.
He called for the continued support of the human rights-based reforms being implemented by the government following the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016 which transformed the then Prison Service to the current Zambia Correctional Service.
This was contained in a statement made available to ZANIS by HRC Spokesperson Mweelwa Muleya.
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