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Human Rights Watch accuses Zambian police of brutal abuse, beatings of suspects

LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) — An international rights group is calling on Zambia to crack down on police brutality.

Human Rights Watch says in a Tuesday report that Zambian police routinely hang suspects from ceilings and beat them to obtain confessions.

Rona Peligal, the organization's Africa director, says, "The government needs to call an immediate halt to police abuse, investigate violations, and strengthen grievance mechanisms."

Acting police spokesman Ndandula Fiyamana refused to comment when contacted by The Associated Press. Police Minister Mkhondo Lungu did not respond to a request for comment.

Zambian police have long been accused of abuse and rarely respond to the criticism.

The U.S. State Department says the Zambian government's human rights record is poor.