Human rights and civil society groups inside and outside of Zimbabwe have expressed concern at what they say is an increase in human rights violations in the country. The statements closely followed International Human Rights Day, observed on Sunday.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum on Monday issued a report accusing the Zimbabwe Republic Police of numerous human rights violations between 2000 and the present day. The group last week issued another report stating that there has been a significant increase in Zimbabwe in the politically related abuse of women.
Entitled "Who Guards the Guards - Violations by Law Enforcement Agencies in Zimbabwe,” the report says state security agents are the biggest violators of human rights, and are used by the ruling party to "suppress opposition and retain power."
The government has consistently rejected allegations of human rights violations, and has accused civic groups like the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Women of Zimbabwe Arise and the National Constitutional Assembly of provoking police.
Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum chairman Noel Kututwa told reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the report is based on solid data retrieved from police records as well as claims reported directly to his group.
Speaking on the government's behalf, William Nhara, principle director of interractive and public affairs in a ministry of state attached to the office of President Robert Mugabe, dismissed the latest accusations as politically motivated.