A Commission of Inquiry into the torture of 81 people accused of plotting to overthrow the Zambian government in an abortive coup three years ago, has confirmed that different forms of torture were used on the plotters.
President Frederick Chiluba appointed the five-man Commission to investigate the allegations after the failed coup on 28 October 1997.
The Commission, comprising state judges and a former police chief, established that the coup suspects were subjected to both physical and mental torture.
The Commission noted that almost all the suspects were subjected to beatings, burning, deprivation, electric shock, sexual harassment and suffocation. They also underwent mental torture in the form of simulated execution, solitary confinement, insults and threats.
"The beating was carried out using wire cables, hose pipes fitted with metal, steel rods planks, metal objects, short buttons and butts of AK47 assault rifles.
"They were also tortured by being forced to kneel on bottle tops, having a lit cigarette pushed into their nostrils, forcing them to chew a cigarette stick or burning their naked bodies with a lit cigarette, pricking their feet with wires and nails, forcing a matchstick through their urethra, suspending them on a swing and subjecting him to severe beatings."