Back to Index
This article participates on the following special index pages:
ZCTU National Labour Protest - Sept 13, 2006 - Index of articles
Torture/Ill-treatment/fear of excessive use of force
AI Index: AFR 46/019/2006
September 22, 2006
International is gravely concerned by an emerging pattern of human
rights violations, including alleged torture and arbitrary detention,
being perpetrated by police against hundreds of human rights defenders
involved in peaceful demonstrations in recent days.
took place across the country on 11
September and 20
September, led by civil society groups including Women
of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), the Zimbabwe
Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and the National
Constitutional Assembly (NCA). On each occasion Amnesty International
has received alarming reports that people have been arrested and
detained as a consequence of exercising their right to peaceful
demonstration. Some people have allegedly been severely beaten while
in police custody, sustaining broken bones and head injuries.
As well as allegations
of torture and other forms of ill-treatment, Amnesty International
has also received reports that detainees have been denied access
to their lawyers and adequate food and medical care while in police
custody. Some have been held in deplorable conditions, including
overcrowded cells, for prolonged periods.
On 20 September, more
than 15 NCA members were reportedly ill-treated, including being
beaten with sticks, while in police custody after being arrested
during peaceful demonstrations in the city of Mutare. The police
reportedly did not provide any food for these detainees. In total,
approximately 170 NCA members were reportedly arrested and detained
following peaceful demonstrations in the urban centres of Mutare,
Harare, Gweru and Masvingo.
Also on 20 September
four NCA members were allegedly abducted about two hours before
planned demonstrations by supporters of the ruling party, the Zimbabwe
African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), as they were
passing ZANU-PF offices. All four were allegedly beaten on the soles
of their feet and held captive in ZANU-PF offices during the demonstrations
before being released later that day.
On 14 September Amnesty International received credible reports
that members of the ZCTU were severely beaten at Matapi Police Station
in Harare following peaceful demonstrations. Hundreds of members
of the ZCTU and WOZA were reported to be detained in Harare and
other urban centres in Zimbabwe. Many were denied access to lawyers,
adequate food and medical care.
On 11 September,
over 100 WOZA members were reportedly arrested ahead of a planned
peaceful sit-in at Town House in Harare, to protest against deteriorating
services in Harare. Among those arrested and detained were allegedly
five babies and their mothers, who were WOZA members, and a pregnant
woman, who reportedly became unwell while in police custody. Many
were detained for a prolonged period often in deplorable conditions.
Amnesty International expressed serious concerns for the health
and safety of all those detained (see UA 247/06, AFR 46/017/2006,
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.