Zimbabwe police holding cells filthy

2014-09-17 20:39
Shutterstock: Prison bars

Shutterstock: Prison bars

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare - Zimbabwean lawyers on Wednesday decried reported assaults and the death of suspects in police custody, as well as conditions in holding cells they called unfit for human habitation.

"There have been disturbing reports of deaths in police custody and some of our members have reported that some of their clients have been assaulted or coerced to make confessions," Lloyd Mhishi, president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, told a parliamentary committee on human rights.

"We are talking of people who have been arrested and have not yet been convicted but they are kept in filthy and ill-equipped cells," he said.

"Some are clearly uninhabitable."

Human rights organisations have denounced prison conditions in Zimbabwe, saying suspects are often held in overcrowded cells without functioning bathroom facilities, and issued threadbare and often lice-infested blankets.

Food is usually scarce, they say, due to general shortages arising from the economic crisis roiling the southern African nation.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said that last year alone, more than 100 prisoners starved to death in the country's jails.

Mhishi noted that in some cases suspects are denied access to legal counsel, or lawyers are arrested while trying to obtain access to their clients.

"Sometimes lawyers are prevented from seeing their clients," he said.

Last year prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa was arrested and detained when she went to see her clients during a police raid on the offices of the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change.

Read more on:    mdc  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa  |  human rights

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


5 top leg exercises for men

Here’s our selection of the five best leg exercises that you can do in the comfort of your own home.


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content this holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
How to open a beer bottle without an opener
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.