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ZIMBABWE TROOPS USE SYSTEMATIC TORTURE ON PROTESTERS

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A government-appointed human rights group in Zimbabwe has accused soldiers of using “systematic torture” in a crackdown on protests. The Zimbabwe Human Right commission strongly criticized authorities for using troops to quell demonstrations.

Unrest broke out more than a week ago following a sharp rise in fuel prices.

A government spokesman defended the crackdown, telling the BBC: “When things get out of hand, a bit of firmness is needed.”

Reports have emerged of assaults allegedly carried out by the military in various parts of the capital, Harare.

Soldiers in Harare were seen beating a large group of minibus drivers on Tuesday, and the BBC’s Andrew Harding in Harare spoke to a man who said he and about 30 others had been rounded up and beaten by soldiers.

The continuing violence raises further questions about President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s control over the military, which helped to bring him to power 14 months ago, our correspondent adds.

President Mnangagwa has promised that abuses against civilians will not be tolerated.

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