Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Zimbabwe's women 'face brutality'

excerpt from:

BBC NEWS | Africa | Zimbabwe's women 'face brutality'

Women who oppose Robert Mugabe's regime in Zimbabwe are suffering increasing violence and repression, a study says.

Amnesty International claims that female demonstrators can be subjected to arbitrary arrest, beatings and in some cases torture in police custody.

The human rights group, which interviewed dozens of activists, urged the country's authorities to "stamp out any discrimination against women".

Zimbabwe is in the grip of its worst ever economic crisis.

Shops are running out of even the most basic items and inflation is approaching 5,000%.

Life expectancy for women is just 34 years - among the lowest in the world.

'Important resource'

Female activists quoted in Amnesty's report, Between a Rock and a Hard Place - Women Human Rights Defenders at Risk, described receiving brutal treatment at the hands of the police.

"Detained women human rights defenders have been subjected to sexist verbal attacks, and denied access to food, medical care and access to lawyers," the report said.

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