By Tarisai Machakaire
As demonstrations against the President Robert Mugabe-led regime rage on across the country Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have stood with most of the victims recording more than 750 people nationwide under their support.
The human rights activists have piled a series of complaints relating to the conduct of law enforcement agents who infringed on most of the protestors’ rights at the time of arrest with the standout case being in Harare where police set dogs on locked up “rioters”.
“The conduct of police officers who went around picking people from Ruwa, Epworth and Mabvuku is very questionable. For want of a better explanation the rioters were literally fed to dogs and among them are minors,” said ZLHR lawyer Jeremiah Bhamu.
“Further to that, the police officers knowing fully that the accused persons had been attacked by dogs never made any effort to ensure they were treated for rabies. The few that were fortunate enough to be hospitalised only got bandages and are at risk of getting infections
“…two of those who suffered the attack are juveniles of school-going age. And, of which considering the provisions of Section 18 (1) (i) of the Constitution speaks for the rights of children and that their detention should only be a measure of last resort.”
ZLHR has rendered legal service to people in Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Zvishavane, Gutu, Masvingo, Chipinge and Beitbridge.
“In Bulawayo, approximately 86 people were detained at Mzilikazi Police Station while eight men charged with public nuisance were being held at Bulawayo Central Police Station, and another five men held at Luveve Police Station on charges of blocking the pavement,” a ZLHR statement read.
“In Masvingo, ZLHR has deployed lawyers to assist six men who were arrested for disorderly conduct while in Chipinge two men were arrested on allegations of intimidation and another two from Gutu on, as yet, unclear charges.”
Activist Sten Zvorwadza slammed the law enforcement agents for their brutality and disregard for the law.
“My heart aches for those protestors who were unfortunate enough to find themselves in the hands of the police.
“They have been denied their basic rights to food and medication while at the hands of law enforcement agents who are supposed to protect them,” he said. Daily News