Accessibility links

Zimbabwe President Cracks Down on Demonstrators - 2003-06-06


Zimbabwe police have arrested opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and charged him with treason for organizing weeklong protests against the government. Brian Purchia has the latest.

Before his arrest, Mr. Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change said efforts to oust Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe from power will continue.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI, MOVEMENT FOR DEMOCRATIC CHANGE
“The national effort to challenge the regime to resolve the current crisis will now continue with greater intensity from today.”

Peta Thornycroft reports for VOA from Harare.

VOICE OF PETA THORNYCROFT IN HARARE
“Morgan Tsvangirai was arrested shortly after telling journalists and diplomats that opposition protests would continue until the government came to the negotiating table.”

Thousands of supporters of Mr. Mugabe took to the streets Friday to discourage opposition marchers on the fifth and final day of scheduled protests. Armed security forces were also patrolling the capital ahead of the planned street rallies.

Although many shops and businesses shut down this week, few street marches materialized after the government used force, including tear gas and batons. The opposition has reported hundreds of arrests and beatings this week. Human rights activist Godfrey Costa.

GODFREY COSTA, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
"It is really frightening when you end up in front of a government who use such strong arm tactics on unarmed civilians intending to demonstrate peacefully which is everyone's constitutional right when they are disgruntled about something."

In Washington, the Bush administration condemned Mr. Mugabe's crackdown on demonstrators.

XS
SM
MD
LG