Human Rights Commission (HRC) Chairperson Mudford Mwandenga says the Anti-Corruption Commission should consider placing hospilised Chishimba Kambwili on bond as a matter of human rights.
Mwandenga in a statement said that Kambwili needed to be treated in accordance with the rule of law while considering his health status and that he is not a flight risk.
“It is desirable in a democratic state such as Zambia that the rights and freedoms of individuals and suspects alike are always promoted and protected in accordance with the rule of law. All suspects should enjoy the right to equal protection of the law and must be presumed innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law. Over-detention of suspects is universally considered as a violation of human rights and a form of extra-judicial punishment of suspects and must be avoided. Based on the circumstances leading to the arrest of Honourable Kambwili, there is every reasonable ground to believe that he is not a flight risk because he had always availed himself whenever he was required for investigations. In any event, if a suspect breaches any of the bond conditions, it is within the powers of the Law Enforcement Officers to revoke it accordingly,” Mwandenga stated.
He called for improvement on the administration of the right to bail and bond in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of all suspects, regardless of their status in society.
“The HRC is deeply concerned with the challenges a number of suspects are facing in accessing bond, particularly the underprivileged ones who do not even receive any kind of publicity whenever their rights are being infringed upon. As a Commission, we have over the years been working on a bail and bond project aimed at promoting and protecting the right to liberty of suspects; and a number of suspects have been assisted regardless of their social status. The Commission wishes to state that infringement or perceived infringement of the rights and freedoms of high profile politicians who are always in the public spotlight whenever they find themselves in contact with the law is a daily experience for hundreds of suspects who are in many respects vulnerable,” stated Mwandenga.
“The Human Rights Commission is therefore calling for improved administration of the right to bail and bond in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of all suspects regardless of their status in society. All those with information about individuals whose rights have been violated, or are being violated, are urged to report to the Human Rights Commission, either in person or using various platforms such as our Facebook: Human Rights Commission-Zambia or Toll Free Line: 8181.”