The European Union (EU), on Friday, expressed its disapproval over the Zimbabwe Republic Police’s use of brute force to disperse protestors in Harare’s CBD.
In a statement, the EU urged security forces to exercise restraint and proportionality. It said:
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Very worrying images from Harare CBD today, where the police heavy-handedly dispersed crowds of peaceful demonstrators.
We call for restraint and proportionality, and for respect for the constitutional right to peaceful protest.
The United Kingdom has also added its weight, urging the police to show restraint and ensure the response is proportionate. It said in a statement:
Concerned at the images of the heavy-handed response to disperse crowds in Harare. Demonstrations must be peaceful but urge the security forces to show restraint and ensure a response is proportionate.
On Thursday, the EU issued a statement ahead of the MDC-planned demonstration before police issued a prohibitive order against the protests. The European body said then:
On the eve of planned demonstrations, the EU reiterates that citizens have rights to freedom of assembly, association, expression and to peaceful protest.
We urge demonstrators to abstain from violence or vandalism and call on security forces to exercise constraint and proportionality!