Human Rights Lawyers Give ZRP 7-day Ultimatum To Name Officers Who Tortured Gokomere Students
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has given police a seven-day ultimatum to release the names of police officers who allegedly tortured Gokomere High School students in Masvingo.
On Monday, police detained 40 pupils but they were later released without charge. This happened after disturbances at the school in which windows were smashed, and the headmaster’s vehicle stoned.
The lawyers said the ordeal at the police station left the students nursing injuries after they were assaulted and tortured by police officers who arrested them for allegedly protesting against poor diet and learning conditions.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said on Wednesday:
"On behalf of parents and guardians of some Gokomere students, we have given the Officer in Charge of Masvingo Rural Police Station a seven-day ultimatum to investigate and respond by giving us names of police officers who brutally assaulted and tortured them on November 7 and 8."
According to TellZim, a local publication, it all started with school authorities calling the police after some food stocks disappeared in the dining hall. Two police officers were deployed to the school where they are alleged to have used crude interrogation techniques, including brutalising students.
On the second day of interrogations, the students allegedly revolted against the police officers and allegedly destroyed window panes at the dining hall and stoned a vehicle driven by headmaster Acquanos Mazhunga.
That led to the deployment of more police officers who rounded the unfortunate forty students and transported them on the school bus to the police station. They were held for several hours while being heavily interrogated.
Human rights then lawyers stepped in and demanded that the police cannot interrogate students in the absence of their guardians. This led to their release.