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Zimbabwe doctors say 157 beaten in post-election violence PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 April 2008

AFP, HARARE - A coalition of Zimbabwean doctors said Wednesday its members had seen and treated more than 150 patients who had been beaten and tortured since the elections at the end of March.

The independent Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said 157 people had been treated between the elections on March 29 and April 14 with injuries clearly stemming from organised violence and torture.

"One third of the patients are women, including a 15-year-old girl who was abducted with her mother from her home, made to lie on her front and beaten on her buttocks," a statement said. "Her mother, who is pregnant, was similarly beaten. Both mother and daughter required hospital admission."

The group said half of 30 patients still in hospital were from the opposition stronghold of Mudzi, northeast of the capital. "The commonest injury observed was extensive soft tissue injury of the buttocks. This results from prolonged beating with a hard blunt object," the doctors said.

Nine patients had broken bones, mostly in their arms or hands, the statement said, adding that such injuries were consistent with victims raising their arms to try and protect their face or upper body.

A broken bone had been protruding from the leg of one patient, resulting from being hit with a blunt object, the doctors said, adding that some of the patients would have permanent disabilities.

The doctors association condemned the upsurge in violence and called upon all political parties to "cease the use of intimidation, violence and torture as a form of retribution or victimisation."

It called on police to take urgent action to prevent more violence and on international organisations such as the Southern African Development Community, the African Union and the United Nations to intervene and bring the post-election crisis in Zimbabwe to an end.

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