LUSAKA, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Zambia's human rights body on Monday launched an investigation into the death of a soldier who died inside a police cell in Lusaka Saturday.
On Saturday, Flight Sergeant Mark Nchimunya Choongwa, a 34-year-old Zambia soldier, was brutally beaten up by police officers at Wooldlands Police Station in the country's capital Lusaka, after he was detained on a traffic offence.
He died shortly after he was thrown in police custody. There are conflicting reports about the cause of the death.
Some reports said Choongwa was brutally assaulted by the police officers after he was involved in a minor traffic accident, while the police claimed the soldier was beaten by his fellow inmates in cells.
The Zambian Human Rights Commission said it has launched an independent investigation into the matter to establish the truth behind the soldier's death.
"What seems to be in dispute is whether or not he was beaten by either the inmates or the police officers," said Mweelwa Muleya, the human rights body's chief of information.
The human rights body is also investigating another case of a suspect who died after being allegedly tortured by police in central Zambia's Chisamba district in order to compel him to confess to a crime.
The human rights body has since expressed concern over the increased use of torture by police officers on suspects, saying it was a violation of human rights under the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, commonly known as the United Nations Convention against Torture, as well as the Zambian constitution.