Harare: Zimbabwean must act swiftly to ensure security forces are held to account for ongoing brutal human rights violations, including torture, rape, beatings and killings of civilians, Amnesty International said.
Dozens of civil society leaders, activists, opposition leaders and suspected organizers of the national protests against a massive increase in fuel prices have abandoned their homes, fearing for their lives.
At least 12 people have been killed and dozens more injured by the security forces since protests began 14 January, 14.
Up to 700 people, including minors, have been detained after being arrested on trumped-up charges, or brought before courts in hearings that do not meet fair trial standards. Hundreds have been denied bail.
“The Zimbabwean authorities must immediately halt their menacing threats towards civil society leaders, activists, opposition leaders and suspected organizers of protests. The authorities must ensure that those who violated and continue to violate human rights face justice, ´ said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa.
Amnesty International has documented a systematic pattern of human rights violations, including restrictions on public assembly, excessive use of force, arbitrary arrests and internet shutdown by the security forces throughout the national stay-away.
“A Zimbabwe that is prosperous and based on the rule of law will never be built by brutalizing dissent. The authorities must immediately stop this merciless crackdown on activists, civil society leaders and others who are guilty of nothing more than exercising their right to freedom of expression,” said Deprose Muchena.