15 January 2019

Zimbabwe: ZLHR Condemns Random Brutal Attacks On Residents

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Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) strongly condemns the wanton and brutal attacks on some Harare residents by uniformed members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

At about 2300 hours on 14 January 2019, police and army officers randomly carried out door-to-door raids around Mabvuku high density suburbs. During these raids, uniformed members of the police and army forced entry into homes by breaking doors and windows. Having gained access, they proceeded to randomly assault some occupants and in some instances forced residents out of their homes.

Some of the targeted residents were those with houses near barricades placed on roads. The residents were forced to remove the barricades (rocks and stones lined in the road) and were severely assaulted in the process. As at 0200 hours, on 15 January 2019, ZLHR continued to receive further reports that this illegal operation was still ongoing. At least more than fifteen (15) people have reached out to confirm these attacks. Similar reports have been received from Chitungwiza.

It is clear that the police are failing to fulfill their obligation of investigating first before arresting any suspects as provided in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. Further, Section 50(1)(a) of the Constitution states that anyone who is placed under arrest must be advised of the reason(s) of arrest and that all suspects must be subjected to humane treatment as provided in section 50(1)(c) of the Constitution.

Of concern is the involvement of soldiers in these illegal acts who are actively participating in the torture, cruel and inhumane treatment of residents, thereby violating Section 53 of the Constitution.

ZLHR advises the police and army officers responsible that lawyers will not hesitate to file court cases against those responsible and hold them accountable for these random acts of torture and destruction of property.

Source: Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)

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