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'Looters not a threat to anyone,' says Amnesty International?

by Staff reporter
15 Jan 2019 at 20:28hrs | Views
Amnesty International said it is alarmed by the repressive measures the Mnangagwa led Zimbabwe government has taken in response to the protests, including shutting down the internet to prevent people from supporting or organising protests.

Muleya Mwanayanda Amnesty's Deputy Director for Southern Africa, said the organisers of the national shutdown are not a threat to anyone.

He said: "Years of political and economic mismanagement has brought Zimbabwe's economy to its knees.

"Millions of Zimbabweans are terrified about the knock-on effects that the fuel increases will have on their daily lives, including for food and healthcare.

"The Zimbabwean authorities must ensure that people are able to express their views freely and safely and must promptly investigate in an independent and impartial manner allegations of police shootings of protesters.

"The police must use force only when strictly necessary. Even then, they must exercise restraint at all times and use the lowest level of force needed. Firearms may only be used as a last resort, and when strictly unavoidable, to protect life."

Amnesty is alarmed by the repressive measures the government has taken in response to the protests, including shutting down the internet to prevent people from supporting or organising protests. The police and military have also reportedly subjected people who were protesting to beatings and other forms of ill-treatment.

Muleya Mwanayanda added, "The organisers of the national shutdown are not a threat to anyone – all they have done is call for people to stay at home as a way to protest peacefully against the fuel increases.  

"Instead of threatening those who criticise the government, the authorities should focus on addressing the root causes that are leading people to the streets and focus on building an inclusive economy for all Zimbabweans."

There have been reports of police stations being torched, shops looted, private property destroyed and the headquarters of the main opposition party, MDC, burned down, Zanu-PF offices were also torched.

Source - online

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