Zimbabwe activists condemn military crackdown

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HARARE, ZIMBABWE - AUGUST 1: An Zimbabwian army truck is seen as supporters of the opposition party protest against the results of Zimbabwes presidential election, in Harare on 01 August 2018. (Photo by Wilfred Kajese/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HARARE, ZIMBABWE – AUGUST 1: An Zimbabwian army truck is seen as supporters of the opposition party protest against the results of Zimbabwes presidential election, in Harare on 01 August 2018. (Photo by Wilfred Kajese/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Human rights activists in Zimbabwe are condemning the military crackdown on opposition protesters in the capital, saying it raises questions about whether the current government is any different from that of former leader Robert Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum says member groups saw soldiers firing “randomly” in downtown Harare and beating up bystanders who were not involved in the protests on Wednesday. Three people were killed in the election-related violence.

The activists are denouncing violent protests but calling the government’s reaction illegal and “grossly disproportionate to the violence that it sought to contain.”

Some government supporters have accused opposition leaders of inciting violence by prematurely declaring victory in the presidential election. Official results have not yet been announced.

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