Statement on Deployment of Army During Rioting

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, whilst condemning the recent rioting in Harare ’s high density suburbs, is gravely concerned about the deployment of the army to deal with this situation. We condemn the grossly excessive use of force used by the army and some elements of the police in containing this civic unrest.

Whilst law enforcement agents have a duty to keep the peace, this does not equate with the use of excessive force. This force has included numerous random and arbitrary beatings, the indiscriminate use of teargas and the destruction of citizen’s property —  often with an element of retribution and the settling of political scores.

We call upon the Government to withdraw the army from the areas concerned and to restore the rule of law.

Members of the public are reminded that the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum offers a legal service to victims of organised violence. Persons who have been assaulted or tortured by members of any law enforcement agency or organised group such as a political party are urged to seek medical attention and then present themselves at the Legal Unit of the Human Rights Forum, with medical reports of their injuries, for assistance with civil action against the perpetrators.  The Legal Unit is housed at Suite 3 , 1 Raleigh Street , corner Rotten Row, Harare .

Design and development supported by HURIDOCS.