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ZAMBIA: VICE PRESIDENT SHOCKED BY DEATH ROW CONDITIONS

April 4, 2012: Zambia's Vice-President Guy Scott visited the largest correctional facility in the country, Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison, built in 1954, when the southern African nation was under British rule.
He was the first top official to visit the Mukobeko maximum-security prison since independence in 1964.
“After seeing for myself the deplorable conditions, I have concluded that this is like hell on earth and as such there is need to address some of the challenges. Human beings should be treated as such,” said the vice president after touring the death row section of the prison. He said the Government would urgently address the issue of capital punishment and that he would ensure that the matter was presented before Cabinet soon.
There were 297 condemned prisoners on death row, but its official holding capacity is just 48.
In some cases seven inmates were crammed in a cell which was supposed to have one prisoner. The vice-president learnt that case records for 45 prisoners on death row had gone missing while appeals took long to be heard.
"Even if you did not believe in God, when you are brought here, you can never go back to your old life, because life here is bad," said Benjamin Miti, who has been on death row since 1993, awaiting his appeal in a murder case. "My fate is yet to be decided because the Supreme Court, where my appeal case is, has informed us that it is unable to trace my case. So I will have to wait," Miti said. "Imagine, I have lived for 19 years without knowing my fate!"
"As government, we can't allow the present situation to continue," said Scott, adding that the orders to investigate what was going on in the prison came directly from President Michael Sata
Zambia's Human Rights Commission executive director Enoch Mulembe said the government must not only focus on the question of capital punishment, but go further and solve the problem of the conditions at the facility. "Prisoners do have human rights. They are humans who deserve to be treated in the same way the other members of society are being treated. Incarceration does not mean the end of life," said Mulembe. (Sources: Sapa-dpa, www.times.co.zm, www.ukzambians.co.uk, 05/04/2012)

SAUDI ARABIA FREES 22 INDONESIAN MAIDS ON DEATH ROW
BANGLADESH: DEATH SENTENCE FOR MURDER OF CHILD
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED IN ARAN-BIGDEL
GAZA: HAMAS OFFICIAL SAYS CAPITAL PUNISHMENT BRINGS SECURITY
CONNECTICUT (USA): SENATE VOTES TO DO AWAY WITH DEATH PENALTY
KENYA: DEATH PENALTY OVERTURNED FOR TWO ROBBERY CONVICTS
SAUDI ARABIA: PAKISTANI EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
USA: KHALID SHEIKH MOHAMMED, 4 OTHERS CHARGED IN 9/11 ATTACK
UN: BAN KI-MOON URGES HALT TO EXECUTIONS IN IRAQ
INDIA: THREE PEOPLE GET DEATH FOR BURNING ALIVE WOMAN
MALAYSIA: TWO GEORGIANS SAVED FROM HANGING
PHILIPPINES: VP BINAY JUNKS PROPOSALS TO REVIVE DEATH PENALTY
CINA: DEATH PENALTY UPHELD OVER TAX OFFICIAL MURDERS

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