Harare – President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s threats are troubling and could mean things will get worse, human rights organisation Amnesty International has said.
In a press statement, the organisation said Mnangagwa’s statement was not warranted.
“In response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s statement that the government will deal with those suspected to be behind the national ‘stay-away’ protests, including non-governmental organizations, trade union leaders, opposition leaders, doctors and lawyers”, Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa said:
“President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s unfortunate comments are deeply troubling and unwarranted. Coming off the heels of Amnesty International’s expose of a systematic targeting of dissent during the national ‘stay-away’ period, they affirm that his government used security forces, including military personnel, to brutalise people who were protesting. This latest threat is a sinister hint that the situation could become even worse.”
The organisation said Mnangagwa should accommodate differing views.
“If his government wants to build an inclusive country that is based on respect for human rights, President Mnangagwa should accommodate differing views, whether they please his government or not,” Amnesty International said.
The organisation said it released a briefing that documented and systematic crackdown dissent.
“Amnesty International recently released a briefing that documented a systematic crackdown on dissent during the national stay-away between 14 and 16 January.
“In it, the organization exposes a crackdown on the right to freedom of peaceful assembly as the authorities sought to crush protests against fuel price hikes. In the process numerous serious human rights violations were perpetrated including killings and torture,” the organisation said.