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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

  • Use of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against Zimbabweans
    Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR)
    May 10, 2007

    Visit the special index page on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe

    The Zimbabwe 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.

    ZADHR urges 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) :

    "No exceptional 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 for torture"

    Visit the ZADHR fact sheet

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