US concerned over Zim political arrests

2011-03-04 09:14

Washington - The United States on Thursday warned Zimbabwe it was monitoring a string of recent politically motivated arrests in the country and demanded Harare hold accountable anyone found to have tortured detainees.

"The United States is concerned about recent arrests in Zimbabwe targeting political and civil society activists," State Department spokesperson PJ Crowley said in a statement.

Crowley cited the February 19 arrest of 46 political activists accused of plotting anti-government protests similar to those that toppled leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as other recent arrests.

"In some of those incidents, activists claimed to have been tortured," Crowley said.

"We call on the government to provide medical attention for those who need it and, if torture occurred, to take immediate action to hold the perpetrators accountable."

The activists' attorney said they were charged with treason for discussing protests against Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, who has held power for 31 years. Defence lawyers have said the accused were in an academic debate on African politics when police arrested them. No trial date has been set.

Those held include trade unionists, student leaders and Munyaradzi Gwisai, who heads a small but radical pressure group, the International Socialist Organisation.

The United States has expressed alarm at a spate of violence in Zimbabwe and blamed Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF for the attacks, which are heightening tensions ahead of possible elections this year.

  • Felix - 2011-03-04 09:41

    Why don't you do something about it guys? It's been happening for a few years now!

      ChrisG - 2011-03-04 10:08

      If they get involved then they get called "white imperialists" and told by the rest of Africa to mind their own business.

  • Gardener - 2011-03-04 10:13

    US=RIP VAN WINKLE!! The US must have been sleeping for the past 31years!!

  • Ross - 2011-03-04 10:14

    Don't touch muck, stay away.

  • tommy 2 - 2011-03-04 13:42

    Is the US only concerned now,or are they scared of sending forces because of what happened to their troops in Somalia. And Zim does not have...................... OIL.

      Boer - 2012-05-17 00:05

      Ag Tommy go talk sh#t somewhere else. Do you really think the US is scared of you dum lot in Africa. One US Aircraft carrier will alienate that whole useless continent.

  • jamesonl - 2011-03-04 14:49

    I know the Zimbabwean folks; they are afraid of old Bob. Even if he arrested them, they won't rebel. They are as meek as sheep and as soft as clay.

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