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Human Rights Watch Urges SADC Action On Zimbabwe Political Violence

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged the Southern African Development Community to put pressure on the Zimbabwean government at the regional summit opening Friday in Pretoria, South Africa, to put a complete halt to post-election political violence in the country.

SADC leaders are to scheduled to meet in summit in Pretoria starting on Friday.

The group urged the regional organization to ensure that all "torture camps," bases from which self-styled war veterans and militia members loyal to President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party are alleged to have have mounted operations against the opposition, are dismantled. It urged SADC to see that the perpetrators of political violence in Zimbabwe are prosecuted.

Human Rights Watch Senior Zimbabwe Researcher Tiseke Kasambala told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the group seeks action by SADC because there has been not enough emphasis on human rights issues in current power-sharing talks between ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change headed by Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

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