Police should stop their brutality and instead use modern and democratic techniques of crowd management and control, the Human Rights Commission has advised.
In a statement obtained by Daily Nation, Commission chief of information, education and training Mweelwa Muleya said the commission was deeply concerned at the excessive use of force by the Zambia police when dealing with citizens exercising their freedom of peaceful assembly and expression.
Mr. Muleya stated that it was extremely regrettable that the police had every year produced statistics and evidence of human rights violation for the country.
He said this was a serious consequence for the social economic development of the country.
“The police must balance their legitimate mandate of protecting and promoting public peace and order on one hand and their obligation to respect the rights to peaceful assembly and expression. On the other hand , clearly, the use of force being used by the police to manage public gathering and procession is excessive and disproportionate, it must therefore not be allowed to continue as a norm,’ Mr. Muleya said.
And the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has condemned the action by the police to beat up students at Copperbelt University (CBU) when they tried to protest last Saturday.
YALI president Andrew Ntewewe said the action by the police was an infringement on the rights of young leaders who were trying to exercise their democratic right to protest.
“We would like to condemn in the strongest possible terms the behaviour of the police in mishandling and brutalising the rights of young leaders at the Copperbelt University who were simply exercising their democratic right to demonstrate and protest; it’s barbaric and unacceptable,” he said.
He said it was saddening that the people who were supposed to protect the rights of people such as the police would behave in such a manner.
Mr. Ntewewe warned the police that their action was unacceptable and would never be tolerated in a democratic country such as Zambia.