Zimbabwe where the torture is real


President Mugabe's secret police found a new method of persuasion when they wanted Jestina Mukoko to confess that she was a terrorist bent on overthrowing the regime.

They forced the human rights activist to kneel on a pile of sharp chips of gravel for hours on end. “It's like walking on glass,” said her lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa. “After a short while the chips push into your skin and you have to move to relieve the pain. But when you do that, it only makes it worse. It's hell.”

The kneeling routine was in addition to long bouts of the falanga - beating the soles of the victim's feet, a method of torture perfected over recent years in Zimbabwe. Those who have endured it often face excrutiating pain with every step they take for the rest of their lives.

Ms Mukoko, 41, an affable single mother who once worked for a Zimbabwe state radio, was running the Zimbabwe Peace Project when she was kidnapped. Her organisation has monitored and recorded instances of political violence for almost eight years, cataloguing the increasing violence and intimidation that the regime's loyalists have meted out.

She was snatched from her home in the small town of Norton, 25 miles (40km) west of Harare, at dawn on December 3, and disappeared.

For almost a month court orders compelling officials to reveal her whereabouts were won, and ignored.

Then Didymus Mutasa, the Security Minister, announced in late December that Ms Mukoko was among a group comprising mainly human rights workers and opposition activists who were in “clandestine detention” as part of an operation of national security.

They were accused of banditry, insurgency, terrorism and sabotage. The group of 18 appeared in court early this month. About 12 others who were rounded up as part of the original swoop remain unaccounted for.


Clearly Mugabe is terrified of human rights workers, but these guys do not sound much like al Qaeda. None of them are looking to explode around noncombatants and there is biggest crime is recording the Mugabe state terrorism.

I am sure any of them would rather be at Gitmo than enduring time in Mugabe's hellhole of a country. Certainly nothing this brutal has been alleged at Gitmo.

FrontPage.com has more on the Mugabe torture regime.


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