Increase in violence and abuse – ZHRF

HARARE - Politically motivated violence and human rights abuses are on the increase in Zimbabwe, with for example 68 cases of illegal use of torture recorded last July compared to only one case the previous month, according to the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum (ZHRF).
The Forum's latest report blam

es most cases of politically motivated torture and assault on state security agents and called on the government to ensure its agents upheld international and local laws forbidding torture and inhuman treatment of people.
“The Forum further urges the responsible authorities to abide by the prohibitions of torture as espoused in the United Nations convention against torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and punishment,” says the report.
Ironically, the call for an end torture of opponents comes amid reports that about 15 labour leaders arrested by the police for organising worker protests last Wednesday were all in critical condition after they were severely assaulted and tortured by the police.
The ZHRF report cites several examples of police and army brutality against opponents of President Robert Mugabe’s government.
In one such case on July 9, 2006, the youth chairman of the MDC in Chitungwiza town was abducted by eight men suspected to be Zimbabwe army soldiers who took him to an army camp along the highway from Chitungwiza to Harare and where they severely assaulted and tortured him, the report says.
The report also cited the arrest and subsequent assault of 128 activists of the National Constitutional Assembly for holding demonstrations in Harare demanding a new and democratic constitution in Zimbabwe.
Neither Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi nor Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa were immediately available to respond to the ZHRF report. However, the government has in the past denied that security forces target its political opponents for abuse and torture. – ZimOnline

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