Unlawful lethal force by Zimbabwe security forces should be probed - HRW
Johannesburg - Zimbabwe security forces fatally shot at least five people and wounded 25 others during a crackdown on nationwide protests this week against a steep fuel price increase, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.
The protests came after labour federation the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions labour movement called for a three-day national strike in response to the 150 percent fuel price hike announced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Protesters burned a police station, barricaded roads with large rocks and looted shops in major cities including the capital Harare, the second largest city of Bulawayo and Kadoma.
Government security forces responded with live ammunition, rubber bullets, and teargas which they fired at protesters and into people’s homes, Human Rights Watch said.
“Zimbabwe authorities have a duty to maintain security during protests, but they need to do that without using excessive force,” its southern Africa director Dewa Mavhinga said.
"Those responsible for using unlawful lethal force should be promptly investigated and held accountable.”
The rights group said it had been told by members of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights that they provided emergency medical services to 25 people with gunshot injuries on Monday.
Two people in Chitungwiza, near Harare and three in Kadoma had died from gunshot wounds.
African News Agency (ANA)