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Zimbabwe security forces stepping up use of torture: rights group

[JURIST] Zimbabwe security officials have increased the use of torture in dealing with opponents of the government of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe [BBC profile, JURIST news archive], according to a report released Saturday by the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum [advocacy website]. The rights group says that 19 incidents of torture were reported during March, up from three reported in January and February, in addition to 46 reports of "unlawful arrests." In his April 18 Independence Day speech, Mugabe threatened harsher treatment [JURIST report] against any who oppose his government.

The increased abuse cases coincide with calls made by the main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change [party website], for a step up in resistance to Mugabe's regime [MDC press release]. Another Zimbabwean resistance group, the Women of Zimbabwe Arise [advocacy website], staged a protest Thursday during which 100 women were arrested and are currently detained while awaiting trial Monday [Reuters report]. Mugabe and his home and security affairs departments could not be reached for comment on the allegations. Reuters has more.

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