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arrests 170 hospitalised after police crackdown on NCA demo
Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa
July 26, 2007
chairperson Dr Lovemore Madhuku said the Mugabe regime has once
again shown it does not care about international opinion and it
does not care about regional efforts, after carrying out a brutal
and vicious crackdown on NCA activists on Wednesday.
The chairperson said
243 people were arrested in the afternoon and spent several hours
at Harare Central police station being brutalised. They were later
released close to midnight. Madhuku was speaking from the Avenues
clinic where more than 170 activists were receiving treatment for
injuries sustained whilst in police custody.
He said: "Imagine
there are so-called mediation efforts by SADC, where the ZANU PF
government is supposed to have taken lessons from March 11 (where
opposition and civic leaders were severely assaulted by the police).
But what happened yesterday is 10 times worse than March 11 because
you have over 200 people being beaten, some of them quite old women
- brutalised by young people wearing police uniforms and ZANU PF
The pressure group had
staged a series of demonstration in all the major towns. Scores
of people were also arrested in Masvingo, Mutare, Gweru, Midlands
and Bulawayo. They are all still in police custody.
It's reported the violence
was more severe in Harare where police also followed some of the
demonstrators to the NCA headquarters and continued to assault them.
NCA Director Earnest Mudzengi was one of those arrested from the
offices. It's reported the police fired shots in the air and threw
tear gas at the activists at the offices. Madhuku confirmed that
the police had barricaded the NCA headquarters and no one was allowed
to enter the premises on Thursday.
Speaking from the Avenues
Clinic one of the victims, Shepherd Gotora, said they were made
to lie down in rows and severely assaulted at the NCA offices and
later at the police station and even elderly women were not spared.
upon their release on Wednesday night: "Most of them (activists)
could not walk for more than a few metres from the police station.
So they just collapsed along the road called Robson Manyika."
He said they were being attended to at the Avenues Clinic and Dandaro
Clinic and by late Thursday about 50 people remained in hospital.
The pressure group are
leading campaigners for a new and people driven constitution and
they said they will not be deterred by the repressive actions of
the state. The group said their cause had been strengthened by the
police brutality and that they will maintain their presence in the
The police refused to
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