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For Immediate Release

Zimbabwe's President Mugabe Must Stop Abuses Against Opposition Activists and Denial of Medical Care

Cambridge, Mass - 03/27/2007

In a letter to President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Physicians for Human Rights condemns the torture and assaults on and denial of medical treatment to members of the opposition party and other peaceful activists by police and security personnel. PHR cites cases from medical colleagues in Zimbabwe that describe dozens of injuries to the individuals, including fractures and soft tissue injuries, head injuries and a ruptured bowel due to blows to the abdomen by police. Some individuals were denied medical treatment, leading to more serious injuries. Denial of such care is an egregious violation of human rights.

PHR calls on President Mugabe to restore respect for human rights to all the people of Zimbabwe, including free expression, personal security, health and economic well-being.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is an independent organization that uses medicine and science to stop mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. We are supported by the expertise and passion of health professionals and concerned citizens alike.

Since 1986, PHR has conducted investigations in more than 40 countries around the world, including Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sudan, the United States, the former Yugoslavia, and Zimbabwe.

  • 1986 — Led investigations of torture in Chile gaining freedom for heroic doctors there
  • 1988 — First to document the Iraqi use of chemical weapons on Kurds providing               evidence for prosecution of war criminals
  • 1996 — Exhumed mass graves in the Balkans and Rwanda to provide evidence for               International Criminal Tribunals
  • 1997 — Shared the Nobel Peace Prize for the International Campaign to Ban Landmines
  • 2003 — Warned US Policymakers on health and human rights conditions prior to and               during the invasion of Iraq
  • 2004 — Documented genocide and sexual violence in Darfur in support of international               prosecutions
  • 2010 — Investigated the epidemic of violence spread by Burma’s military junta
  • 2011 — Championed the principle of noninterference with medical services in times of               armed conflict and civil unrest during the Arab Spring
  • 2012 — Trained doctors, lawyers, police, and judges in the Democratic Republic of the               Congo, Kenya, and Syria on the proper collection of evidence in sexual               violence cases
  • 2013 — Won first prize in the Tech Challenge for Atrocity Prevention with MediCapt, our               mobile app that documents evidence of torture and sexual violence

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