Sunday, 28 August 2016


The Zimbabwe human rights commission has issued a strong statement saying police violated peoples' rights during recent protests.

There has been condemnation after pictures emerged of police teargasing protesters and in one case kicking an elderly woman.

The human rights commission is state-funded and has previously been accused of being ineffective.

“It is noted with great concern that police did violate the fundamental rights of the people as evidenced by facts gathered on the ground,” the constitutional body said.

“The ZHRC is, therefore, extremely concerned about the recent violent conduct of the ZRP. The ZHRC has received complaints on allegations of police brutality and our on-going investigations have revealed unbecoming and violent conduct on the part of the police.”

“The ZHRC is also concerned by the indiscriminate teargasing of centres occupied by people some of whom may not be involved in the demonstration. This should stop and we call for due diligence and care to ensure that the rights and freedoms of innocent citizens are respected and protected.”

Mr Elasto Mugwadi chairs the human rights body.So this strong statement will be seen as a positive move by many in the rights sector.

The commission does not single out any protest in particular but it says police have at times indiscriminately used teargas on people who weren't involved in street protests.

The body says there is evidence that police violated the fundamental rights of Zimbabweans and it says reports should be made to the body by those who feel they were unjustly treated.

Police stopped top opposition leaders from leading a march on Friday but they say they'll try to march again this week.


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