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activists beaten while in police cells
Lucia Makamure, The Zimbabwe Independent
July 27, 2007
AT least 150
Constitutional Assembly (NCA) activists were hospitalised after
they were severely beaten while in police custody on Wednesday night
for demonstrating against Constitutional
Amendment (No18) Bill.
243 NCA activists in Harare while 15 people were arrested in Mutare,
12 in Masvingo and six in Gweru.
were held after President Robert Mugabe officially opened the third
session of the sixth parliament on Tuesday.
were later released. Police spokesman Andrew Phiri could not be
reached for comment on the issue.
In his address,
the president said the current session will see the tabling of Constitutional
Amendment (No 18) Bill that seeks to harmonise presidential and
parliamentary elections, among other things.
chairperson Lovemore Madhuku in a telephone interview yesterday,
said the protestors were picked up in the city centre and forced
onto police trucks before being driven to Harare Central Police
station where they were beaten continuously for more than two hours.
the activists were arrested while demonstrating while others were
picked up at our offices and were taken to the police station where
policemen took turns to beat them up," said Madhuku.
the arrested people included old women. He said the assaults on
Wednesday night were worse than the March 11 beatings of political
and civil society leaders. "I was part of the group that was
beaten up in March but what happened that day cannot be compared
to what happened on Wednesday. Avenues Hospital is in a sorry state,"
The NCA leader
said his pressure group was not going to give up in the fight for
a new constitution as the South African-led mediation talks had
a new constitution as our future does not lie in some meaningless
mediation talks. It is time that the international community and
Zimbabweans in general know that nothing has changed in Zimbabwe.
Repression is actually going up considering the number of people
who were beaten up on Wednesday night," said Madhuku.
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