JOHANNESBURG: The international human rights think-tank, Amnesty International (AI) has expressed concern over increasing ill-treatment of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe and called for an urgent intervention in the country by human rights watchdogs.

Among those victims included members of the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Lawyers for Human Rights and some from Save Zimbabwe Campaign.

These revelations have come out in a detailed report released by AI on Wednesday showing human rights abuses dating back to 2003.The report among others show torture being practised to defenceless Zimbabweans by state security agents and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

The research done by AI has also expressed concern on police brutality in clamping down peaceful and lawful demonstrations conducted by Zimbabweans,

“Human rights activists have been arbitrarily arrested whilst participating in peaceful demonstrations and whilst in police custody hundreds have been tortured and experienced other forms of ill-treatment at the hands of the ZRP, including beatings. Scores of activists have sustained injuries as a result and often require medical treatment. However, police have repeatedly denied them access to medical treatment, “added AI.

Zimbabwean government has also been accused of denying medication to those in police custody and has expressed this as a further punishment to beatings they incur whilst in holding cells,

“AI believes that denial of medical treatment is being used by police as a form of additional ill-treatment and is in contravention of nationally and internationally recognised standards of human rights and policing,” argues AI.

The late principal director in the office of the president William Nhara’s relatives are among some who have accused the Mugabe-led government for denying medication to those arrested, which they say led to the death of Nhara.

The Zimbabwean government has failed to investigate beatings of prison inmates which leaves human rights watchdogs with a conclusion that the state is indeed sponsoring state violence on its citizens,

“The Zimbabwean government has failed to investigate reported ill-treatment, including denial of medical care and excessive use of force by the police against human rights defenders exercising the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of association, “read part of the report.

The Amnesty International has also asked the responsible authority to take expected channels in making sure that perpetrators of injustice are brought to book.

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