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Zimbabwe caning: Court bans 'inhuman' juvenile punishment

April 5, 2019 5:08 am

Zimbabwe’s constitutional court has banned the caning of juvenile convicts as a judicial punishment.

Nine judges decided that judicial corporal punishment was illegal under the country’s constitution.

They ruled it was cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

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While attitudes are changing, many parents in Zimbabwe still believe corporal punishment is the best way of disciplining children, says the BBC’s Shingai Nyoka.

Caning as a judicial punishment was permitted in Zimbabwe for males under the age of 18 under the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act and has been a common sentence.

However, the judges found that it contravened a section of the constitution adopted in 2013, which states that no person may be subjected to “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

The ruling came after a 15-year-old boy convicted of raping a 14-year-old girl challenged his sentence of three strokes of the cane.

The full details of the case have not been made public.

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