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Human Rights Abuses Up As Zimbabwe Crisis Deepens - NGO Report

A Zimbabwean human rights group says the deterioration of economic and political conditions has created an environment more conducive to human rights violations.

The Zimbabwe Peace Project reported 663 alleged cases of human rights violations in May involving at least 249 people in Mashonaland Province and 149 in Matebeleland Province who reported harassment, intimidation or torture for their political affiliations. Others in Manicaland reported abuse for their alleged possession of diamonds.

The report alleged that a councilor of the ruling ZANU-PF party in Chigweshe village in Manicaland Province led youths in destroying property worth Z15 million dollars.

Elsewhere, the organization reported, a bartender was beaten for inviting people to listen to a news broadcast from Studio 7 of the Voice of America.

More such alleged violations are documented in the report, which highlights a surge in unlawful detentions and kidnapping. It cites two cases of murder in Mashonaland East Province and Masvingo Province, among other serious incidents.

Zimbabwe Peace Project National Director Jestina Mukoko told reporter Carole Gombakomba of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that while Harare has denied human rights abuses are taking place, the evidence on the ground is overwhelming.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...