Matabeleland Forum, a network of civil society organisation has called for the establishment of an independent tribunal to investigate human rights abuses, “especially abductions and torture of citizens.”
This comes after several politicians, activists and citizens were arrested while others were subjected to torture by suspected state security agents on charges of orchestrating the 31 July anti-corruption protests.
In a statement, Wednesday, the Forum also called for the withdrawal of security forces, especially the army from the streets.
Security forces were deployed into the streets to enforce the Covid-19 lockdown regulations.
“We are concerned by the harassment of human rights defenders and journalists that have included Mthulisi Hanana and are further appalled by the abduction, torture and beatings of civilians who include Tawanda Muchehiwa, Nigel Ndlovu and Takunda Mudzana and others,” read the statement.
“Dozen of human rights defenders and citizens have fled their homes in fear of arbitrary arrests and abduction.”
Tawanda Muchehiwa a nephew to investigative journalist and ZimLive editor Mduduzi Mathuthu was abducted and brutally assaulted by suspected state security agents.
The organisations also called for the government to “immediately release all citizens arrested for exercising their right to demonstrate” and also “dissolve and withdraw the abduction squads that have been terrorising activists.”
They also implored the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the African Union and the United Nations to put in place urgent diplomatic interventions to halt the crisis in Zimbabwe.