In a statement, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) condemned the use of live ammunition and excessive force on unarmed protesting citizens by the army following protests by MDC Alliance supporters.
ZHRC also condemned hooliganism and vandalism by the protesters. The Commission also urged the law enforcement agencies to manage protests in a manner that does not result in the loss of life. We publish the full statement below:
The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC/Commission) joins the nation and other peace-loving Zimbabweans in condemning, in the strongest sense, the use of live ammunition and excessive force on unarmed protesting citizens by the army on 1 August 2018. Regrettably, we understand there was unnecessary loss of lives and property.
Whilst the Commission does not in any way support violence, hooliganism and vandalism by the protesters, constitutionally there are better ways of managing protests without infringing on the citizens’ right to life, which must be jealously guarded by all State institutions at all times. The ZHRC urges that the army be only deployed when necessary for maintenance of law and order and in strict compliance with the relevant legal provisions and internationally accepted standards including restrictions on the use of five ammunition against protesters.
Further, the Commission calls upon political leaders and related stakeholders to exercise restraint and call upon their followers to respect peace and avoid violating the rights of others.
The Commission wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and equally wishes the injured a speedy recovery.