Sokwanele, the Zim human rights NGO, has sent out a harrowing press release exposing the torture of people who “dared” to support the MDC during the election. This is by no means the first time physical brutality has been used by Zanu PF-afilliated structures.
An abridged version of the press release is reproduced below:
State orchestrated torture in Zimbabwe
Sokwanele : 22 April 2008
Images taken on 20 April 2008
The email message accompanying these images read:
The attached pics are of a young man from Dzivarasekwa, Harare who was abducted by “soldiers” militia in full combat camoflage kit with fringed hats who beat him for hours with chains and fan belts on his back and chest. Also on his feet and hands.
The reason for this terrible beating is that he transported MDC supporters to the pre election rallies.
Ambulances went to Kotwa Hospital on Saturday evening to uplift five critical cases and they were stopped just short of the hospital by CIO agents who threatened their lives and then followed them for 100 kms back to Harare.
Now the ambulances refuse to go out there.
I really fear for those peoples lives.
We have been trying to get them out in civilian trucks, but Police road blocks surround the Mudzi area. If we were not successful last night, then a convoy of vehicles will go in.
This is a shocking situation we find ourselves in, when we are prevented from taking our battered and burned members to hospital.
Images taken on 21 April 2008
This man, above, is from Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe, Mashonaland East Province, the local ‘war vet’ and Zanu PF militia put plastic on his back and arms and burned it. He only managed to get to hospital four days later.
This man, above, is also from the Uzumba-Maramba-Pfungwe area. He was tied to his hut door by militia and then set alight. This happened last week. He only managed to get to hospital last night.
The emails came from different sources. Both confirm the same situation; for example, the message accompanying the images sent to us today (taken yesterday) read:
We cannot get ambulances to go into that area as they are either turned back by police or threatened by CIO. So we are borrowing fuel off anyone and everyone for our MDC guys vehicles to go in and find the injured.
The same person who sent us this message also advised us that someone he knows in the Macheke area saw two youngsters walking down the road with AKs slung over their shoulders. He asked another person – a war vet he had a friendly relationship with – what it was about.
The answer was, “Yes we are all being armed; we are going back to war”.
Copyright: Sokwanele. For further information visit www.sokwanele.com.