Zim clamps down on Valentine marchers

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IOL pic nov21 zimbabwe tsvangirai Reuters

Harare, Zimbabwe - A women's activism group says Zimbabwean police used tear gas and baton charged to disperse Valentine's Day marchers, herding 195 people into a police precinct. Twenty-five were later treated for injuries, including broken teeth.

The Women of Zimbabwe Arise leader Jenni Williams said Friday all but one - accused of indecent exposure - were released without charge.

The group traditionally marks Valentine's Day with marches in Harare and Bulawayo, giving out red roses as a symbol of peace and love in the troubled nation.

Williams said protesters marched to government buildings to peacefully voice concerns on flaws in a proposed new constitution over women's rights.

Amnesty International, in a statement, said continuing attacks by police on Zimbabwean human rights defenders cast doubt on the country's ability to hold credible polls. - Sapa-AP

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