III. Methodology

This report is based on three research missions to Zimbabwe in March, April and May 2008. Researchers conducted more than 70 interviews with victims, eyewitnesses, perpetrators of abuses, police, lawyers, medical personnel, MDC members of parliament, MDC officials, police, prison officers, civil society activists and diplomats, in person and on some occasions by phone. Interviews were conducted in English and Shona without interpreters. Human Rights Watch also examined post-mortem reports, police affidavits, court orders and medical reports. Researchers visited Harare, Manicaland, Masvingo, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Midlands provinces, Bulawayo and Matebeleland North provinces.

For security reasons, many people spoke to Human Rights Watch on the condition of confidentiality, requesting that the report not mention their names or other identifying information. Details about individuals and locations of interviews when information could place a person at risk have been withheld.