The activist group Women of Zimbabwe Arise has issued a report charging that Harare is using violence against its members and intimidating them despite crisis talks in progress under the mediation of South African President Thabo Mbeki.
WOZA National Coordinator Jenni Williams told journalists in Johannesburg that of a sample of 347 WOZA members, 73% had been arrested at least once, 40% had been tortured and about half had been illegally detained by authorities.
Williams said the report will be presented to the Zimbabwean police and distributed to South African nongovernmental organizations which will be urged to pressure the Pretoria government to put pressure on Harare to end the alleged abuses.
WOZA said the seven-page report was compiled between May and July this year. A more comprehensive report drawing on a sample of 2,000 WOZA members was said to be forthcoming, the Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, based group said.
WOZA leader Williams told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the Zimbabwean police were mainly responsible for the alleged violence.