ZIMBABWE: Human Rights Group Condemns Violent Police Crackdown

HARARE AUGUST 30, 2016 (CISA) – Zimbabwe’s Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) has accused police of brutality and violating the rights of protesters during anti-government demonstrations in the last two months.

In a statement on the protests the commission said its investigations had revealed “unbecoming and violent conduct” by police officers and urged victims to make formal complaints, Reuters reported.

“It is noted with regret that the police did violate the fundamental rights of the people as evidenced by the facts gathered on the ground,” it said. “Security concerns should not be used as an excuse to harass demonstrators and non-demonstrators. Citizens should enjoy police protection and not brutality,” added the commission.

The commission further urged demonstrations to be peaceful, following last Fridays protests generated into some of the worst violence seen in Zimbabwe for two decades in which 68 people were charged with public violence.

More anti-government protests are planned for Wednesday and Friday, due to public anger at the dire state of the economy, in particular an 80 percent jobless rate, cash shortages and delays in salaries for public workers.

President Robert Mugabe has however warned there would be no “Arab Spring” in Zimbabwe, referring to a wave of revolts in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, some of which toppled governments, while others were stamped out by security forces.

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