Shutdown state atrocities: Women demand justice.
Justice for Women Zimbabwe (JWZ) notes with concern the gross human rights violations by the Zimbabwe government and state security agents, particularly the rights of women. Zimbabwe last week saw the primitive descent on citizens by security forces following protests against the deteriorating socio-economic conditions and the announcement of the fuel price hike by the president. It is sad that the state following the August 1 shootings continues to unleash violence on citizens airing out genuine grievances, making women easy targets of the state sponsored violence.
The events that took place during the shutdown saw the use of live ammunition by the police and military leading to injuries and loss of life. Some women were sexually assaulted and forced to have unprotected sex with members of the security forces, whilst some are still in illegal detention to date. As such JWZ demands justice for the women who were killed, brutalized, illegally detained and sexually violated during the shutdown. It is the duty of the state to protect its citizens and ensure the realization of women's rights but instead it is the state itself that is violating them.
If the Zimbabwe government is sincere about getting into a dialogue to move this country forward it should start by owning up to its actions, ensuring that perpetrators are brought to book starting with those of the August 1 shootings and also that women have a seat at the table of the dialogue.
May the souls of our sisters and all who died rest in peace.
Justice for Women Zimbabwe Information Department