United Nations slams Government over demo crackdowns

United Nations (UN) has castigated Zimbabwe’s government for the wanton clampdown of MDC’s demonstrations as unconstitutional violations of human rights.

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By Marshall Bwanya

United Nations (UN) has castigated Zimbabwe’s government for the wanton clampdown of MDC’s demonstrations as unconstitutional violations of human rights.

The opposition’s protests dubbed the Free Zimbabwe March were unconstitutionally banned by the police and upheld the High court catapulted into a fierce clash between protestors and the police, with the latter using excessive force to disperse the crowds.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights spokesperson Rupert Colville expressed concern over the increased reports of civilian victimisation trying to air out their economic grievances by state agents.

“We are deeply concerned by the socio-economic crisis that continues to unfold in Zimbabwe.

“More disturbing still, there have been reports of actual physical attacks, arrests and detentions of civil society and activists over the past months.

“With one human rights defender and one political activist reportedly temporarily abducted and severely beaten by unidentified armed men a few weeks ago, apparently because of their role in helping organise protests,” he said.

Colville reiterated that citizens had the right to demonstrate and air out their economic grievances and that State authorities have a duty to ensure people’s rights to freedom of expression.