Soldiers Are Also Bound To Obey The Law, They Are Not Entitled To Kill Civilians: Veritas

Parliamentary, legal and civil rights watchdog Veritas has said that the killing of civilians by members of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces was illegal as the right to life is inviolable under the Constitution. Six people died after soldiers used live bullets while trying to quell a demonstration by opposition supporters on Wednesday. Said Veritas,

Whether the members of the Defence Forces were trying to restore order on the authority of the President under section 213 of the Constitution or on the authority of the Minister of Defence under section 37 of the Public Order and Security Act, in either event, they are bound to obey the law like everyone else in Zimbabwe. While they can use whatever reasonable force is needed to quell a riot, they are not entitled to kill anyone because the right to life is inviolable under the Constitution.

Although most of the human rights guaranteed by the Declaration of Rights can be limited in terms of section 86 of the Constitution, and although the Constitution allows courts to impose the death penalty in limited circumstances, the right to life cannot otherwise be limited and no one may violate it: see section 86(3)(a) of the Constitution. Hence if soldiers or police officers shot and killed the three civilians yesterday, they did so illegally however necessary they may have believed the killing to be.

Related Article:

Full Text: Only The President Can Deploy Soldiers, POSA Section Police Cited Is Unconstitutional – Veritas

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