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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Index of articles on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe
of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against
Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
May 10, 2007
the special index page on the mistreatment of the legal profession
Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) is concerned about
the escalating use, by security forces, of torture, cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment against Zimbabwean citizens, including members
of civil society, the opposition and professional associations.
It is also of great concern that the condition of those affected
has become difficult to monitor because of the practice of beating
people and then holding them in detention without access to independent
medical attention. There are at least 8 such persons currently held
in remand prison.
Over the last few months
medical treatment has increasingly been wilfully delayed or denied
by the security forces resulting in the further deterioration of
the condition of injured persons. Delaying treatment for blunt trauma
and fractures, particularly of the head, abdomen and chest can cause
significant morbidity and mortality.
Noting the continued
use of excessive force by the Zimbabwe Republic Police, ZADHR condemns
the assault of 4 senior lawyers by the police on 8 May 2007 following
an attempt to present a petition to the Attorney General and the
Minister of Justice. The lawyers concerned sustained severe bruising
confirmed by medical examination as consistent with beatings by
baton sticks. The police have brought no charges and have given
no report of any provocation.
security forces in Zimbabwe to refrain from the use of torture and
for the Government to take any measures necessary to prevent further
acts of torture taking place and to take appropriate action against
the perpetrators. The prohibition against torture is absolute and
cannot be justified under any circumstances. As stated in Article
2 of the Convention Against Torture (CAT) :
circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of
war, internal political instability or any other public emergency,
may be invoked as justification of torture. An order from a superior
officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification
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