LUSAKA, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Zambia on Tuesday joined the rest of the world in commemorating the 2019 Human Rights Day with Vice-President Inonge Wina saying the government was open to discussions on the possibilities of abolishing the death penalty.
The Zambian vice-president said the current government of President Edgar Lungu has not carried out any execution of individuals sentenced to death by the courts because it respects human rights.
In remarks delivered during the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day, the vice-president said successive governments have been commuting death sentences to life imprisonment and that the current president has so far commuted more death sentences to life imprisonment than any other president in the country's history.
According to her, the Zambian leader does not tolerate torture and other forms of inhuman or degrading treatment.
She, however, urged the country's human rights body, the Human Rights Commission (HRC), to take advantage of the prevailing political and public goodwill to scale up public sensitization on the possibility of abolishing the death penalty.
Mudford Mwandenga, the Chairperson of the human rights body said the Zambian government has largely demonstrated a commitment to meeting its obligation of protecting the rights of inmates.
He called on the private sector and cooperating partners to support the government's efforts towards enhancing the rights of persons in detention and correctional facilities.
United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Coumba Mar Gadio commended Zambia for the efforts in promoting human rights through various programs being implemented.
In July 2015, President Lungu commuted the sentences of 332 death-row prisoners to life imprisonment.