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opposition says detainees mistreated
Zimbabwe police had mistreated some of the more
than 200 opposition party members detained on Saturday, an opposition
spokesman said Sunday. Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for Movement for
Democratic Change, Zimbabwe's main opposition movement, said 115
opposition members had been released, leaving about 85 still in
Chamisa denied a Reuters report citing police who
said the detainees were suspects in recent petrol bomb attacks on
police stations, shops and government supporters.
"It's propaganda; meant to justify their dictatorial
actions," Chamisa said, adding that the detainees had reported
being mistreated, including one woman who reportedly was forced
to drink 10 liters of water.
"There is always detention without trial; we
don't know when they're going to be released; Mugabe is the rule
of law," he said, referring to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe,
who has maintained an iron grip on power in his country, long beset
by economic problems. His security forces have regularly cracked
down on MDC members.
Police did not respond to requests for comment.
Chamisa said the arrests occurred Saturday in the
capital city of Harare, where party members had gathered to "just
discuss political issues."
Police broke down doors and seized the people, detaining
them at the Central Police Station.
The action was reminiscent of the recent detention
of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was beaten after his
Saturday's detentions occurred a day after police
extended a ban on rallies and protests in the capital.
Chamisa likened the atmosphere in the capital to
a state of emergency and said the detentions show the regime is
Mugabe's government has accused the MDC of using
brutal tactics to oppose the government.
Gomes contributed to this report
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