WOZA members survive latest ordeal (07-12-2006)

WOZA women and children assaulted by the police
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has come under withering criticism from political and civic groups for ruthlessly breaking up a peaceful march by WOZA last week to mark the launch of their “People’s Charter”, a declaration on political and economic rights.
Baton-wielding police rounded up 40 demonstrators in Bulawayo and dragged them to a neighbouring police drill room where they were savagely beaten. Six of them, including an 11-month old baby, sustained severe injuries, including bone fractures.
The brutal attack on peaceful demonstrators and innocent children violates basic tenets of international law and has been widely condemned by the international community. The last of the protestors were eventually released on Monday, after several days in police custody.
WOZA leaders say the police are in a quandary about how to deal with peaceful protestors. “True to their ‘strategy’, overheard being discussed at WOZA’s last court victory, they beat up WOZA/ MOZA protesters. Although the same officer overheard discussing this ‘strategy’ was again overheard saying that they obviously did not beat them viciously enough,” said Jenni Williams.
“We know that those who fear the truth will always resort to violence, the only language they know. But WOZA will continue undeterred – the power of love can overcome the love of power!”
She thanked the many who supported WOZA during their latest ordeal, by calling, faxing or emailing and adding your voices to those of thousands of Zimbabweans who want a socially just future and will not be silenced. – Staff reporter

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