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Zimbabwe sex workers allege rape by military

by MARCUS MUSHONGA
HARARE, (CAJ News)
ZIMBABWE’S state security forces have allegedly raped an unspecified number of sex workers during a crackdown against
anti-government protests.

Commercial sex workers

Justice for Women Zimbabwe disclosed the alleged violations as reports of infringements by the security forces mount.

“Women have come forward to seek medical and psycho-social support following rape by armed security agents,” the organisation’s director, Coezette Chirinda, said.

She was speaking at a press conference in the capital Harare, weeks after Zimbabwe experienced its worst protests in years.

Chirinda said some victims of rape were arrested and thus denied due process by the courts.

Massive increases in the price of fuel sparked the violent protests.

The military stepped in to provide backup to police.

At least 12 people were killed and scores suffered injuries from live ammunition. Torture and murder have also been reported.

Hundreds of civilians, opposition members and civil society leaders remain behind bars for allegedly perpetrating violence.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has denounced the violence by state security personnel and ordered investigations.

However, police claim the violations were carried out by people impersonating the military.

“We demand the prosecution of perpetrators, without fear or favour. They must be barred from working in the security sector ever,” Chirinda said.

Sex work is criminalized in Zimbabwe but the dire economic situation has forced many women into the trade.

– CAJ News

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