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 © JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images

9th June 2020, 14:48:06 UTC

Three opposition activists, Joana Mamombe, Cecelia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova were abducted from state custody, sexually violated, tortured and hospitalised in May 2020, for leading a demonstration over the government’s failure to provide social protection for the poor during COVID 19 lockdown.

They have been charged with breach of peace and violating lockdown regulations, the authorities accused them of lying about their torture.

There has been no enquires into their disappearance and their credible allegations of torture, including sexual assault.

On 10 June, charges brought against them of ‘communicating or publishing false statement prejudicial to the state’ and ‘defeating or obstructing the course of justice’.

They were rearrested together with their lawyer, on 31 July whilst on their way to Harare Central Police Station where they were scheduled to report as part of bail conditions. Cecilia Chimbiri was only released after being charged with insulting a police officer after a soldier falsely accused her of insulting him and assaulted her with a whip. They were released subsequently but still face charges.

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