Civil society and opposition activists in Zimbabwe face the constant threat of political violence at the hands of state security forces that act with total impunity. Since the brutal crackdown of March 2007, hundreds of people have been arrested and tortured for attending peaceful protest meetings or simply daring to speak out.
On Human Rights Day, the Open Society Institute presented a new report by leading medical professionals from the Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture, who traveled to Zimbabwe to examine survivors in the aftermath of the crackdown. Based on forensic evaluations, “We Have Degrees in Violence”: A Report on Torture and Human Rights Abuses in Zimbabwe demonstrates that President Robert Mugabe’s regime systematically utilizes violence against the political opposition and ordinary Zimbabwean citizens.
- Allen Keller, Director, Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture
- Samantha Stewart, Bellevue/NYU Program for Survivors of Torture
- Otto Saki, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
- Akwe Amosu, OSI Senior Policy Analyst for Africa
Moderator: Aryeh Neier, President, Open Society Institute