Despite President Emerson Mnangagwa repeatedly voicing his commitments to human rights reforms, Zimbabwe remained highly intolerant of basic rights, peaceful dissent, and free expression in 2019. During nationwide protests in mid-January, following the president’s sudden announcement of a fuel price increase, security forces responded with lethal force, killing at least 17 people, raping at least 17 women, shooting and injuring 81 people, and arresting over 1,000 suspected protesters during door-to-door raids. In the months that followed, several civil society activists, political opposition leaders, and other critics of the government were arbitrarily arrested, abducted, beaten, or tortured. Little to no efforts were made to bring those responsible for the abuses to justice.

 

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