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Arrests and injuries as police break up NCA demonstration
Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa
January 25, 2007

The National Constitutional Assembly reports that several people were arrested and others injured after police violently broke up a peaceful demonstration in Harare, Thursday. An NCA official who took part in the protest march said at least 400 people demonstrated against plans by the Mugabe regime to postpone the presidential election from 2008 to 2010.

The activists who spoke on condition of anonymity said: "We had one lady who was unfortunate to be arrested as the police tried to disperse us. And just a moment ago we have nine guys who were picked up in town on allegations that they tried to assault a police officer.

Actually they are saying they resisted arrest when the police were dispersing the demonstrators."

NCA Lawyer Alec Muchadehama confirmed that he had seen one of the people arrested and was trying to find out where the others were being held.

The pressure group reports that police used force to disperse the protestors. Several people are said to have sustained injuries after being assaulted by the police. The NCA official told us one of the activists, John Masva, sustained serious head injuries as a result of the beatings. "We are made to understand that he was beaten with a baton stick resulting in the fracture (head). And then there are others who have wounds and bruises and swollen legs.

But they are recovering except for Mr Masva who is battling for his life."

This is the second demonstration in two weeks that has been organised by the NCA. They are also calling for a democratic people-driven constitution. 

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