Probe abduction, beating of Zim activists - Amnesty

2014-12-04 14:04
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Harare - Rights watchdog Amnesty International on Wednesday said Zimbabwe should launch an impartial investigation into the abduction and beating this week of three pro-democracy activists in Harare.

Itai Dzamara, Jerry Mugweni and Allan Chinewaita were abducted on Tuesday by unknown men who bundled them into cars and took them to an office of the ruling Zanu-PF party where they were beaten with metal rods.

The three were later handed to police and released without charge. They are understood to have been receiving hospital treatment in the Zimbabwean capital. They had been taking part in a "sit-in" protest in Harare's central Africa Unity Square calling for long-time president Robert Mugabe, 90, to step down.

"We are concerned about reports that the three activists were handed to police at Harare Central Police station by the abductors who were allowed to leave without being interrogated or arrested," said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty's regional director for southern Africa in a statement.

"Such conduct by the police perpetrates a culture of impunity which fuels further human rights abuses," Muchena said.

Dzamara, a journalist, was beaten unconscious by police on November 6. When his lawyer Kennedy Masiye arrived on the scene, he too was beaten with batons and chased away.

Tensions have been mounting in the capital as Zanu-PF holds a congress which analysts say will likely see Vice President Joice Mujuru demoted.

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  zanu-pf  |  joice mujuru  |  robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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