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'Avoid use live ammunition on protesters'

by Staff reporter
30 Jul 2020 at 09:02hrs | Views
HUMAN rights groups have challenged the government to desist from using live ammunition on defenceless demonstrators, arguing that disproportionate force was unlawful.

"Security forces must not use live ammunition when protesters are unarmed as disproportionate force is unlawful," Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum said yesterday.

"The use of excessive and lethal force by security forces, the unwarranted use of military forces in managing protests and the subsistence of repressive laws that curtail the enjoyment of the rights to freedom of assembly and association violates both the Constitution and international and regional standards."

The rights lobby group also called on police not to impose restrictions aimed at discouraging participation in assemblies.

"Restrictions should not be aimed at discouraging participation in assemblies, potentially causing a chilling effect," the human rights group said.

"Pre-emptive arrests of organisers, propaganda about violent protests being planned and intimidation in any manner or form are illegal and unconstitutional methods of limiting the right to demonstrate."

The lobby group added: "While recognising government's efforts to contain the pandemic, it is important to remind the authorities that any lockdown measures and restrictions should be necessary, proportionate and time-limited and enforced humanely without resorting to unnecessary or excessive force."

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission has lodged a complaint of hate speech by acting Zanu-PF spokesperson, Patrick Chinamasa.

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Source - newsday