Zimbabwe dissidents denied treatment

2011-03-01 07:46

Harare - Prison authorities in Zimbabwe have ignored court orders for 12 activists accused of planning an Egyptian-style uprising against President Robert Mugabe to receive medical treatment for torture-inflicted injuries, their lawyer said Monday.

The dozen accused were part of a larger group of around 45 lawyers, students and trade unionists raided by police on February 19 during a private meeting on the situation in Egypt - during which they were watching a DVD of news clips of the unrest.

All now stand accused of treason, which carries the death penalty. They have been in custody for 10 days, and complained of various abuses and torture.

A Harare magistrate was told last week that the 12 were lashed on the soles of their feet with broomsticks by secret police interrogators attempting to force them to admit they were plotting Mugabe's overthrow by mass demonstrations.

He halted the hearing and ordered that they be examined and treated, and for a report to be submitted when the court reconvened on Monday.

However, the men have not been treated, beyond being given general painkillers, their lawyer Rose Hanzi said.

Human rights lawyers say there has been a spate of arrests around the country for alleged political offences since the overthrow of Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Mugabe has been in power for 31 years, presiding over a country which descended into economic chaos and hyper-inflation, and widespread intimidation, brutality and killings after the presidential election of 2008.

  • BC - 2011-03-01 09:47

    I can't help but feel that if Zim had oil deposits or some other strategic comodity that the USA and its mates neede that they would have sorted this mad man out years ago? Or not?

      johan - 2011-03-01 10:58

      They have diamonds, still nothing... Remember if you leave them to self destruct you don't have to compete with them in the world economy, the further they fall behind the longer it will take them to catch up if ever, so its in their (the world's, all other countries) best interest to leave them screw up their own country. No-one likes competition...Unfortunately for us, we are next door, so we get the flood of people over coming over looking for work.(I know this is wrong, horrible, evil, and what not, but this is reality...)

  • obamaprez - 2011-03-01 10:09

    South Africans must start putting pressure on our government to intervene in Zimbabwe. Perhaps we should boycott the local government elections.

      johan - 2011-03-01 14:13

      Thats a great idea, so all the ANC supporters should boycott the local elections, great idea.

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