Security sector reform: Grassroots Advocacy against Torture

This programme was implemented in Harare (Mabvuku and Chitungwiza), Mashonaland East (Marondera and Murehwa), Mashonaland Central (Mt Darwin and Chiweshe), Mashonaland West (Banket and Hurungwe.

Apart from these areas, the programmes were also carried out in Masvingo region in Zaka, Midlands Gokwe South and North and Bulawayo.

Torture was mainly experienced during the pre- and post-election period of 2008. The main objective in ZimRights carrying out this project was to sensitise communities on the effects of torture and to emphasise that it is illegal and that perpetrators must be dealt with by the law.

ZimRights managed to capture more than two hundred testimonies from victims who were willing to share their experiences and how they have dealt or are still dealing with the effects of torture. The organisation also has a facility to offer security in safe houses for victims of torture and those who are still under threat from perpetrators.

Participants were encouraged to report cases of torture and keep their CR numbers. These cases will still be dealt with later. In some instances, people wrote petitions to the police demanding them to investigate pending cases of human rights abuse through torture. The participants with the help of the organisation managed to write another petition to parliament calling for the MPs to bear in mind the mandate that they have to serve the people.

Public meetings were held in Bikita and Zaka to inform and educate the communities about the meaning and impact of torture. During the workshops the participants gave their testimonies and ordeals they went through. As mentioned above, women continuned to dominate in terms of attendance.

gokwe

Part of participants in Huchu, Gokwe

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