Concern over resurfacing of sexual torture

Violence on an organised basis has continued without decline throughout the country. In most cases victims are abducted to bases where they are tortured and then released. These bases are springboards for militia operating in the area and also serve as torture centres. In medical assessments specific patterns of injury, particular to different groups of militia have come to light.

Victim statements have increasingly indicated that the youth militia involved in organized violence of having received formal training in it. Internationally recognised torture techniques are being implemented as is the case at a Zanu-PF base at Mahusekwa Growth Point where wide range of types of torture such as falanga, focal beatings, and sexual torture have been used.

It is of particular concern to the Forum that the use of sexual torture, in use in the run-up to the June 2000 elections, has resurfaced. This has included forced rape by men, witnessed by both the perpetrators and others, is being imposed on victims. The result of this in each documented case has been severe genital infection and marked psychological trauma. Sexual torture is not to be taken lightly as ramifications such as contracting HIV can be life threatening.

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