EU, U.S. Demand Justice For Victims Of January 2019 State Brutality

The European Union (EU) and the United States of America have both expressed concern over the Zimbabwean government’s failure to probe the disproportionate use of force by security personnel against civilians in January 2009.

In a statement posted on its Twitter handle, the EU in Zimbabwe demanded an end to impunity and the prosecution of human rights violators. It said:

Two years on, investigations are lacking and impunity continues to prevail on human rights violations perpetrated in #Zimbabwe in January 2019. #NoZIMpunity.

In a related development, the U.S. Embassy in Harare queried why Zimbabwe has not yet prosecuted and convicted the security forces accused of rape, torture, and killing civilians in January 2019. It said in a tweet:

Two years. When will Zimbabwe investigate, prosecute, and convict government security forces accused of rape, torture, and killing civilians in Jan 2019? Two years is too long to seek justice/answers/accountability.

Zimbabwe descended into anarchy characterised by the looting of businesses and barricading of roads in January 2019 after the government unilaterally hiked the price of fuel by over 150 per cent.

In response to the fuel riots, the government blocked the internet for several days and unleashed security forces on civilians resulting in the death of over 20 people and serious injuries to hundreds.

There were also allegations of some rogue members of the security services moving from door-to-door raping women who were too terrified to report the abuse for fear of victimisation.

The Zimbabwean government denied the reports insisting that “terrorists” and a “third force” were responsible for the violence.

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