The constitution states that the dignity of all persons shall be inviolable. This means that no person’s dignity shall be violated in any form or shape.

As a rule, no person, whether or not he is arrested, restricted or detained, shall be subjected to further or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. This is a cardinal rule to ensure that a person’s dignity is not violated. This means for instance, that the police cannot beat up a suspect to extract a confession from him. If they do that, the court will throw the case out. It is not only torture, but no person can subject his fellow to inhuman or degrading treatment. So a husband, for instance, cannot post the naked pictures of his wife on social media upon suspicion that she is unfaithful. Similarly, a boyfriend cannot strip his girl naked in public because she has refused him sex. A parent or guardian cannot burn the fingers of a child to stop him from stealing. Neither can a parent starve a child to get him to confess to a wrong. All of these are acts of cruelty and degradation of a person and the law frowns on it.

The constitution further prescribes that no person shall be subjected to any other condition that is likely to reduce a person’s dignity and worth as a human being.

A person who has been convicted for a criminal offense shall not be treated as a convicted person and shall be kept separately from the convicted person. In simple terms, this means that a person on remand shall not be kept in the same prison custody as the convicted person. A person on remand is a person whose case has not been fully determined by the court and there is a great likelihood that he would be found innocent. It is for this simple reason that the law enjoins a separation of such a person from the abode of the convicted person. The unfortunate reality is that the state has breached this constitutional obligation severally. Persons on remand are sometimes mixed up with convicted persons and the excuse we give is that there is not enough space. If we as a state want others to take the law seriously, then we have a responsibility to follow it to the letter.

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