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employees allege torture
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
May 26, 2010
and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ) employees on Wednesday 26 May
2010 alleged that police severely tortured them in their holding
and Dzimbabwe Chimbga, the lawyers representing the two employees
Ellen Chademana and Ignatius Mhambi told Harare Magistrate Munamato
Mutevedzi that their clients were tortured during their detention
in police cells and asked for an investigation into the alleged
that police used empty soft drinks bottles to assault him on his
knees and forced him to "sit" in a position without
a chair or any other tool for a long period. Chademana said the
police also forced her to undertake the same action for a long period.
allege that they were subjected to assaults all over their bodies.
for the release of Mhambi and Chademana on bail arguing that the
two were suitable candidates for bail.
Mutevedzi rolled over the bail application to Thursday 27 May 2010
after State Prosecutor Bruce Tokwe requested for a postponement
of the bail application to acquaint himself with the facts of the
initially ordered the police to surrender the two GALZ employees
to Harare Remand Prison. However the police indicated that they
would not be able to transfer the duo, forcing Magistrate Mutevedzi
to publicly caution the police to only detain the two employees
in police cells and not to torture or assault them whilst in cells
until Thursday morning when they are supposed to be brought to court
for the finalization of the bail application.
Court Judge, Justice Joseph Musakwa will on Thursday 27 May at 14:15hrs
preside over an Urgent Chamber Application filed by Chademana and
Mhambi's lawyers seeking their release. In their application
the lawyers have requested the Officer in Charge of CID Drugs, only
identified as Chibvuma, and Detective Inspector Gomo to release
the two GALZ employees from the custody of the police because their
arrest and detention is unlawful.
argue that the arrest and detention of the two GALZ employees is
now beyond the statutory 48 hour period provided for by Section
32 of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act (Chapter 9:07).
The Urgent Chamber
Application was filed at the High Court in Harare on Tuesday 25
May 2010 at 13:00hrs. The Duty Judge, Justice Lavender Makoni, after
asking the clerk to read the Certificate of Urgency to her over
the telephone, stated that the matter "could wait" until
the following day. It was following this delay that police unlawfully
removed Chademana and Mhambi from their police holding cell and
subjected them to the assaults described above, which amount to
torture under the Constitution
of Zimbabwe and various regional and international instruments
to which Zimbabwe has become a voluntary State Party.
were raised in a letter to the Judge President, Justice George Chiweshe,
and by way of a Supplementary Affidavit filed in the High Court
by the detainees' lawyer, Dzimbabwe Chimbga. An urgent set-down
of the matter for today was requested in light of the safety and
security concerns; however the High Court saw it fit to delay the
matter further, to Thursday afternoon.
The GALZ employees
on Friday 21 May 2010 and charged with being in possession of
obscene, indecent or prohibited articles in breach of Section 26
(1) (b) of the Censorship
and Entertainment Control Act chapter 10:04. On Monday 24 May
2010 the police also charged the two with contravening Section 33
of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly undermining
the authority of President.
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