By Peter Bolder|
Demonstrators took to the streets of Harare Wednesday demanding the release of human rights activist Itai Dzamara, who was abducted by state agents on Monday and is now reported dead.
The demonstrators from Dzamara’s Occupy Africa Unity Square protest group converged outside parliament, chanting and waving placards denouncing Robert Mugabe’s dictatorial regime.
“Bring back Dzamara! If you have murdered him, give us his body so we can bury him,” one angry youth shouted at riot cops.
The police were chased up the road by an angry mob when they attacked the demonstrators with truncheons, trying to disperse them.
Meanwhile, European diplomats told government officials privately on Wednesday that millions of dollars in promised aid could be frozen over the abduction and suspected execution of the journalist, who has made vocal calls for Mugabe to leave office.
The US government expressed “grave concern” about Dzamara’s “forced disappearance” and urged the authorities to respect his rights.
“We support Mr Dzamara’s right to freedom of expression and to demonstrate peacefully. We urge the relevant authorities to demonstrate their professionalism by fully investigating the circumstances surrounding Mr Dzamara’s abduction. If he is being held in state custody, it is vital that his fundamental human rights and freedoms as guaranteed by Zimbabwe’s constitution be honored,” a US embassy statement said Wednesday.
Dzamara was planning mass protests against Mugabe when the kidnapping happened. Reports said a dead body similar to that of Dzamara had been discovered near a black site run by the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Mugabe’s secret police, in Goromonzi.
(c) 2015 Now Daily. All Rights Reserved.