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‘Zim should ratify torture laws’

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ZimRights has called on government to domesticate all anti-torture international conventions and treaties to prevent recurrence of the practice especially during election periods.

ZimRights chairman Kucaca Phulu told guests at the commemoration of the United Nations International Day in Support of Torture Victims in Bulawayo on Monday government should introduce frameworks that prevent the practice and punish perpetrators.

“We call upon the government of national unity to domesticate conventions against torture in Zimbabwe and put programmes and frameworks that prevent the practice of torture and punish the perpetrators of torture,” he said.

The commemorations were held under the theme: Torture is both a Cause and Effect of Poverty: Let’s Break the Cycle.

“Most often, it is the police that perpetrate torture yet ironically they are supposed to be the implementers of law and prevent all forms of torture thus they need to be named and shamed,” he said.

“Torture is unacceptable conduct in this day and age anywhere in the world, but as ZimRights, we note with sadness that use of torture is still rife within our law enforcement institutions in the country.”

Phulu said ZimRights was disheartened by the situation where State-affiliated individuals were the most dominant perpetrators of torture in the form of violence and severe ill-treatment of people.

“Torture in Zimbabwe is often used by the militias who are non-State actors but are always linked to the State one way or another,” he said.

Phulu said ZimRights was waiting to see Zimbabwe ratify and implement laws that prescribe elimination of all forms of torture against all human beings as it was degrading people’s reputation.

The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace’s Jabulani Nkathazo said the culture of torture and victimisation was prevalent in the country.

“Police and soldiers often hide behind the claim that they are enforcing the law, yet they would be perpetrating torture,” he said.

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