The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum has expressed concern at the increased levels of organised violence and torture of innocent civilians by suspected State security agents.
The NGO, in its September report on organised violence and torture, claimed that about 117 new victims of organised violence and torture were documented across the country.
“This figure included 41 victims of police brutality, who were released from remand prison after detention for alleged involvement in protests in August 2016 after nearly a month of remand in detention without access to treatment by a medical practitioner of choice as enshrined in the Constitution,” the report said in part.
Taken from Newsday
“Of particular concern is that the majority of these detainees were members of the public going about their daily business and were dragged from the streets by the police during demonstrations and charged with public violence.”
The report noted that, while there have been five protests in September, “the State responded violently to quell the demonstrations. Many citizens were viciously assaulted in their homes and arrested by the police”.
“The month of September also witnessed a rise in cases of abductions occurring mostly at night. Five people sought medical assistance after being targeted and abducted at gunpoint by unknown men in plain clothes and in unmarked vehicles,” the report continues.
“All were subjected to intense interrogation, physical beatings with blunt objects, barbed wire and whips, and were electrocuted. All reported being injected with an unknown substance and three were forced to have sexual intercourse with men or women.”
The Human Rights NGO Forum expressed concern that the force of the violence shown by the State is worrying, “as over 10% of the victims sustained fractures and over 20% required hospital admission”.
“Spouses and children of the victims were subjected to beatings when the targeted person could not be located,” the report said.
“Further, many of the families of the detainees in remand were visited by State security agents and threatened. All the issues noted in this month’s report are reminiscent of the state violence perpetrated in 2007, and then escalated in April 2008 after the first round of the Presidential electoral process.”