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Torture, President Hichilema is treading on dangerous ground

I DON’T know about you. But I had trouble to sleep.
When they tortured and brutally beat Shabby Chilekwa, a former barber to President Edgar Lungu, people looked away to the serious torture allegations may be because he was a murder suspect.
We have seen the pattern repeat itself.
In Luapula, we saw soldiers brutally beat youths that had issued a video condemning high cost of living and issued invectives against President Hakainde Hichilema.
The matter was made grave by the Director General of Civil Military Affairs, Brigadier-General Genoh Muke who stated that “a few slaps on the youth did not constitute brutality or torture.”
But the Minister of Defence, Mr Ambrose Lwiji Lufuma pledged that the soldiers will be disciplined.
But revelations that Economic and Equity Party leader Chilufya Tayali was beaten and tortured and he is in need of urgent medical attention, is heart-breaking.
What has Chilufya Tayali done?
He issued a video statement that suggest that President Hichilema and Senior Chief Mukuni of the Toka-leya people, know the people that were involved in the burning of markets and gassing (2017-2020).
Inspector General of Police, Lemmy Kajoba stated that Tayali posted a video on social-media that borders on bringing the name of the President in disrepute.
Mr Kajoba urged the public to respect the President as this is the requirement of the law.
But Mr Tayali has provided information that makes him a witness and not a criminal suspect.
The Police have treated him as a criminal and proceeded to brutally beat and torture him.
There are no circumstances whatsoever that would justify the use of torture.
President Hichilema must know that torture is prohibited and constitutes a grave crime against humanity.
Torture is prohibited by the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and by the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Torture is also listed as one of the crimes that constitute a “grave breach” of the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever” may be invoked to justify torture, including war, threat of war, internal political instability, public emergency, terrorist acts, violent crime, or any form of armed conflict.
Clearly, President Hichilema and his government have violated one of the fundamental principles in human rights.
If Mr Tayali has broken the law, follow the Rule of Law and arrest and prosecute him in line with the law.
EMMANUEL MWAMBA.

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