Dozens of civil society leaders, activists, opposition leaders and suspected organisers of the national protests against a massive increase in fuel prices had gone into hiding, fearing for their lives, Amnesty International regional director for Southern Africa Deprose Muchena said.
“At least 12 people have been killed and dozens more injured by the security forces since protests began on January 14. Up to 700 people, including minors, have been detained after being arrested on trumped-up charges, or brought before courts in hearings that do not meet fair trial standards. Hundreds have been denied bail,” Muchena said.
“The onslaught by the security forces in Zimbabwe has seen people killed, arbitrarily arrested, abducted, reportedly raped and jailed on suspicion of taking part in the protests. Children as young as 11 years old have been detained on frivolous charges.
“The Zimbabwean authorities must immediately halt their menacing threats towards civil society leaders, activists, opposition leaders, and suspected organisers of protests. The authorities must ensure that those who have violated and continue to violate human rights face justice.”