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Journalist Dzamara, Lawyer Hospitalized Following Police Assault

Itai Dzamara staging a sit-in in Harare's Africa Unity square Tuesday, October 21, 2014. (Photo: By Frank Chikowore)

Journalist Itai Dzamara and human rights lawyer Kennedy Masiye were hospitalized Thursday with serious injuries after they were severely assaulted by police in Harare.

Dzamara and a few colleagues, who have been demanding President Robert Mugabe's resignation in the past two weeks, were continuing their peaceful sit-down protest at Africa Unity Square when button-wielding police swooped and started lashing out.

As the protesters scattered, Dzamara tried to reason with the police, who quickly cuffed him and assaulted him until he passed out.

He was then rushed to Avenues Clinic where he was put on drip. Dzamara passed out for the second time at the hospital.

Two other protesters were treated and discharged.

Their lawyer Masiye, who was beaten up while attempting to represent the demonstrators, sustained a broken arm.

“Whilst I was still unconscious our lawyer, Kennedy Masiye from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights arrived to represent us. When police found out he was our lawyer they attacked him as well,” Dzamara told Studio 7.

Doctors detained him overnight for monitoring as they suspected he may have sustained internal injuries.

The police actions were roundly condemned by human rights campaigners.

ZimRights Director Okay Machisa accused the police of continuing to brutalize ordinary people.

But Zanu PF member Gadzira Chirumhanzu, said while the action by police was unfortunate, it citizens must follow proper protocols when exercising their civil liberties.