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CHRA Ward 34 Co-ordinator beaten, tortured and shaved by police
Combined Harare Residents Association (CHRA)
April 03, 2007

Raymond Bake, CHRA Ward 34 Coordinator: He appeared in court charged with allegedly bombing Marimba Police Station and throwing a petrol bomb into a passenger train travelling to Bulawayo. The police failed to substantiate their allegations an only linked bake to the said crime by alleging that a piece of cloth that was found on the scene was of an identical colour to the one found at his house. In his submissions on behalf of Bake, lawyer Alec Muchadehama narrated Bake's experience at the hands of the police who arrested him.

The story:
They forcibly ordered him to lie prostate on the rail line, insisting that they wanted him run over by the train when it passes. They later beat him up using booted feet, baton sticks until he reached the Harare Central Police Station, where officers in the Law and Order Section took turns to assault him. He was subsequently taken to Matapi Police Station where the beatings and harassment continued unabated. The Supreme Court has ruled that Matapi Police Station holding cells are unfit for detentions.

While they assaulted, they tied his dreadlocks on police vehicle rails. They started pulling him and the dreadlocks plucked out, inflicting damage to his scalp. Of pain to note is that Bake was denied both medical attention and food while in police detention.

The lawyer explained how the police subjected Bake to extreme torture to extract five different statements, implicating several people who have nothing to do with the bombings. The police simply wanted him to give them names of people he associated with within the MDC structures. In the end he gave them many names and the police have indicated they are hunting those people. Bake now fears for his life and his friends in the struggle for an independent Zimbabwe.

When he appeared before a Harare magistrate, Bake had his locks shaved and appeared to be in extreme pain.

He was denied bail and was remanded in custody until 16 April 2007. However, the defence counsel expressed disappointment in the court procedures saying it appeared they will never win their arguments where the State was insisting on detentions.

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