Rights group condemns use of tear gas

HARARE - A rights group has condemned the use of tear gas by police against ordinary citizens in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) last week and said such action was “reckless and dangerous”.

Dozens were choked when police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds as they tried to disperse protesting vendors, commuter omnibus crew and rank marshals who were protesting against police harassment and use of spikes to control traffic.

This led to a total lockdown of Harare’s CBD as the police fought running battles with the protestors.

“Heal Zimbabwe castigates the discharge of tear smoke canisters in the CBD or anywhere else as a reckless and dangerous strategy to disperse crowds,” the rights group said in a statement.

“Such carelessness is a cause for concern as it shows lack of respect for human life and security. Constitutionally, the police are supposed to protect and secure the lives and property of people.

“It is also an infringement of citizen’s fundamental human rights and freedoms such as section 52 of the Constitution that provide for right to personal security.”

Comments (1)

On this particular day I was on my way home from work when suddenly people appeared running in the opposite direction. Before I could fathom what was happenning the teargas stung my eyes. My nose and throat were burning. People ru nning in all directions. Schoolkids with teary eyes. An old lady coughing.Zimbabwe, what have we become? Someone should be held accountable.

Jonso - 5 July 2017

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