Hunzvi implicated in torture claims


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At least four people in Harare were tortured in or near a medical office run by war veterans leader Chenjerai Hunzvi, who was a medical doctor, a team of medical experts that had been invited to Zimbabwe to investigate cases of state-sponsored torture said.

The team, however, said it was not going to discuss Hunzvi by name in its report but would discuss his involvement when they reported back to international medical organisations.

The team which examined four people in Harare and six in Bulawayo said they were able to confirm that all 10 were victims of physical and psychological torture.

But the perpetrators of the torture were not police or soldiers, but “regular people”, including women.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 00HARARE3029, INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS REPORT “SYSTEMATIC” TORTURE

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Reference ID

Created

Released

Classification

Origin

00HARARE3029

2000-06-07 10:28

2011-08-30 01:44

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Harare

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

 

 

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5881

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03029 01 OF 03 071024Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-01 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00

DODE-00 DOEE-00 ANHR-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00     /010W

——————600067 071025Z /38

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6220

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

USMISSION GENEVA

AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 HARARE 003029

 

SIPDIS

 

AF FOR A/S RICE, P/DAS POWELL, DAS SCHNEIDMAN

AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, C. GURNEY

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03029 01 OF 03 071024Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/10

TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL EU ZI

SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS REPORT “SYSTEMATIC” TORTURE

 

CLASSIFIED BY AMBASSADOR TOM MCDONALD FOR REASONS 1.5 (B) AND

(D).

 

1. (C) SUMMARY: AN INTERNATIONAL TEAM OF MEDICAL EXPERTS

TOLD DIPLOMATS JUNE 5, FOLLOWING A FACT-FINDING MISSION, THAT

THEY HAD FOUND “CLEAR OBJECTIVE EVIDENCE OF SYSTEMATIC

TORTURE” IN ZIMBABWE THAT IS ELECTION-RELATED. AFTER

EXAMINING TEN PURPORTED VICTIMS OF PHYSICAL AND

PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE BY GOVERNMENT SUPPORTERS, THE TEAM

DETERMINED THAT THEIR ALLEGATIONS WERE CREDIBLE. THEY SAID

THAT SOME VICTIMS HAD BEEN TORTURED IN OR NEAR A MEDICAL

FACILITY OWNED BY WAR VETERAN LEADER CHENJERAI “HITLER”

HUNZVI, ALTHOUGH THEY DO NOT PLAN TO NAME HUNZVI SPECIFICALLY

IN THEIR PUBLISHED REPORT. THE DOCTORS SAID THAT THESE CASES

AND OTHERS LIKE THEM, AS WELL AS PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE SUCH

AS FORCED REPUDIATION OF POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS, CONTRIBUTE TO A

CLIMATE OF WIDESPREAD INTIMIDATION AND TRAUMA. THEY CALLED

ON THE GOZ TO ADHERE TO THE UN CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE,

ADOPT A POLICY OF REPARATION FOR VICTIMS AND APPOINT AN

INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATIONS OF

TORTURE. THESE FINDINGS CERTAINLY TRACK WITH THE DISTURBING

INFORMATION WE HAVE BEEN REPORTING. END SUMMARY.

 

MANDATE OF FACT-FINDING TEAM

—————————-

 

2. (U) AT THE REQUEST OF THE AMANI TRUST, A LOCAL NGO THAT

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03029 01 OF 03 071024Z

ASSISTS VICTIMS OF HISTORICAL AND CURRENT TORTURE IN ZIMBABWE,

A TEAM OF MEDICAL EXPERTS FROM THE COPENHAGEN-BASED

INTERNATIONAL REHABILITATION COUNCIL FOR TORTURE VICTIMS

CONDUCTED A FACT-FINDING MISSION TO EXAMINE ALLEGATIONS OF

WIDESPREAD STATE-SPONSORED TORTURE. MEMBERS OF THE

DELEGATION, WHICH WAS LED BY INGE GENEFKE, A WIDELY RESPECTED

DANISH NEUROLOGIST, WERE PARTICULARLY CONCERNED ABOUT

ALLEGATIONS THAT DOCTORS AND HEALTH WORKERS WERE IMPLICATED

IN THE ONGOING ACTS OF TORTURE, AND ABOUT THE REPORTED

DISRUPTION OF HEALTH CARE DUE TO POLITICAL VIOLENCE AND

INTIMIDATION IN THE RUN-UP TO THE JUNE 24-25 PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTIONS. THE DELEGATION MET IN HARARE AND BULAWAYO WITH

VICTIMS, VICTIMS’ ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS, AND ORGANIZATIONS OF

HEALTH WORKERS. DR. GENEFKE AND HER COLLEAGUES CONDUCTED AN

EU-HOSTED BRIEFING OF DIPLOMATIC MISSIONS JUNE 5 ABOUT THE TEN-

DAY FACT-FINDING MISSION. THE DOCTORS PLAN TO ISSUE A REPORT IN

SEVERAL DAYS.

 

VICTIMS OF PHYSICAL TORTURE

—————————

 

3. (U) THE DOCTORS EXAMINED SIX VICTIMS OF TORTURE IN

BULAWAYO AND FOUR IN HARARE. THEY TOLD THE DIPLOMATS THAT,

USING RELIABLE SCIENTIFIC METHODS, THEY HAD BEEN ABLE TO

CONFIRM THAT ALL TEN HAD BEEN VICTIMS OF PHYSICAL AND

PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE. THE PERPETRATORS OF THE TORTURE,

ACCORDING THE TEAM, HAD NOT BEEN POLICE OR SOLDIERS, AS IS OFTEN

THE CASE IN OTHER COUNTRIES, BUT RATHER “REGULAR PEOPLE,”

INCLUDING WOMEN, WHO ARE SUPPORTERS OF THE GOVERNMENT (AND

ZANU-PF). PROFESSIONALS SUCH AS TEACHERS AND MEDICAL WORKERS

HAD, THEY SAID, BEEN SINGLED OUT FOR TORTURE, A COMMON TACTIC

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03029 01 OF 03 071024Z

WHEN PERPETRATORS ARE SETTING OUT TO DESTROY A COMMUNITY.

 

4. (U) THE DOCTORS DESCRIBED IN DETAIL ONE CASE IN WHICH TWENTY

MEN ATTACKED AN OPPOSITION PARTY MEMBER AT HIS HOME, BEATING

HIM UNCONSCIOUS IN FRONT OF HIS WIFE AND FOUR-YEAR-OLD CHILD.

DAMAGE INCLUDED BOTH PHYSICAL WOUNDS, SUCH AS CIGARETTE

BURNS AND INJURIES FROM BEATINGS, AND EMOTIONAL TRAUMA

INCLUDING THE FOUR-YEAR-OLD’S HOSTILITY TO HIS FATHER

FOLLOWING THE INCIDENT — A COMMON, AND OFTEN LASTING,

REACTION BY CHILDREN WITNESSING THE TORTURE OF A PARENT.

 

ABUSES BY HUNZVI

—————-

 

5. (C) ACCORDING TO THE DOCTORS, THEY HAD RECEIVED “VERY CLEAR

INFORMATION” THAT THE FOUR VICTIMS IN HARARE HAD BEEN

TORTURED IN OR NEAR A MEDICAL OFFICE RUN BY WAR VETERAN

LEADER CHENJERAI “HITLER” HUNZVI, WHO IS A MEDICAL DOCTOR. THEY

SAID THEY DO NOT PLAN TO DISCUSS HUNZVI BY NAME IN THE REPORT,

BUT WILL DISCUSS HIS INVOLVEMENT WHEN THEY REPORT BACK TO

INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL ORGANIZATIONS. ANTONY REELER, DIRECTOR

OF AMANI TRUST, SAID THAT THIS ISSUE IS CURRENTLY BEING DISCUSSED

IN “DELICATE NEGOTIATIONS” BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT AND LOCAL

HEALTH GROUPS. HE NOTED THAT A SUPPORTER OF THE MOVEMENT FOR

DEMOCRATIC CHANGE (MDC) HAD BEEN BEATEN TO DEATH OUTSIDE

HUNZVI’S MEDICAL OFFICE. THE OFFICE HAS REPORTEDLY SINCE BEEN

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5883

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03029 02 OF 03 071024Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-01 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00

INL-01   DODE-00 DOEE-00 ANHR-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00

EUR-00   VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00

VCE-00   AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01

PA-00   PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00

TRSE-00 USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00

NFAT-00 SAS-00     /011W

——————600078 071026Z /38

P 071028Z JUN 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6221

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

USMISSION GENEVA

AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 02 OF 03 HARARE 003029

 

SIPDIS

 

AF FOR A/S RICE, P/DAS POWELL, DAS SCHNEIDMAN

AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, C. GURNEY

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03029 02 OF 03 071024Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/10

TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL EU ZI

SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS REPORT “SYSTEMATIC” TORTURE

 

CLOSED FOLLOWING PUBLIC PROTEST OF THE CRIMES BEING CONDUCTED

INSIDE.

 

MASS PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE

————————–

 

6. (U) THE DOCTORS SAID THAT THEY HAD FOUND “CLEAR OBJECTIVE

EVIDENCE OF SYSTEMATIC TORTURE,” WHICH INCLUDED BOTH PHYSICAL

TORTURE AND THREATS AND INTIMIDATION THAT CONSTITUTE “MASS

PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE ON A VERY LARGE SCALE.” EXAMPLES OF

PSYCHOLOGICAL TORTURE INCLUDE DEATH THREATS AND FORCING

PEOPLE TO WITNESS THE TORTURE OF THEIR RELATIVES AND LOVED

ONES. THE DOCTORS TOLD THE DIPLOMATS THAT INTIMIDATION SUCH AS

FORCED ATTENDANCE AT POLITICAL RALLIES AND FORCED

RENUNCIATION OF POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS AND BELIEFS CAN LEAVE

EMOTIONAL SCARS AS DEEP AS, AND MORE WIDESPREAD THAN, THOSE

CAUSED BY PHYSICAL TORTURE. THEY ADDED THAT THEY HAVE

OBSERVED PHENOMENON OF “SELF-CENSORSHIP” WHEREBY VICTIMS ARE

UNWILLING TO TALK ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED TO THEM FOR FEAR OF

RETALIATION. THIS SILENCING IS “EXTREMELY DANGEROUS FOR THE

COUNTRY.”

 

7. (U) THE PERPETRATORS OF THE VIOLENCE, THE DOCTORS SAID, HAD

TARGETED PROFESSIONALS AND COMMUNITY LEADERS, INCLUDING

TEACHERS AND HEALTH CARE WORKERS. SINGLING OUT SUCH PEOPLE

FOR TORTURE AFFECTS NOT ONLY THE VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES,

BUT THE WHOLE SOCIETY. “TORTURE,” THEY CONTINUED, “IS THE MOST

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03029 02 OF 03 071024Z

ATROCIOUS INSTRUMENT AGAINST DEMOCRACY.”

 

DISRUPTION OF HEALTH SERVICES

—————————–

 

8. (U) THE DOCTORS EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE DISRUPTIVE

EFFECTS OF VIOLENCE AND INTIMIDATION ON THE HEALTH CARE

PROFESSION. IN SOME CASES, HEALTH CARE WORKERS HAVE BEEN

PREVENTED FROM PROVIDING TREATMENT TO VICTIMS. WAR VETERANS

HAVE REPORTEDLY EXHIBITED THREATENING BEHAVIOR TOWARD

HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, INCLUDING ASSAULTING AND RAPING

NURSES. TWO NURSES WERE ABDUCTED WHILE WORKING IN A

MATERNAL CARE WARD, DR. GENEFKE ASSERTED. SEVERAL VICTIMS OF

TORTURE HAD SWITCHED HOSPITALS AFTER ENCOUNTERING COLD AND

INDIFFERENT BEHAVIOR ON THE PART OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS.

THE BEHAVIOR OF THESE HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS, THE DOCTORS

MAINTAINED, WAS THE RESULT OF INTIMIDATION RATHER THAN

INDIFFERENCE.

 

SCALE OF VIOLENCE

—————–

 

9. (U) ASKED TO ESTIMATE THE NUMBER OF TORTURE VICTIMS, ANTONY

REELER OF AMANI TRUST SAID THAT NGO’S HAD IDENTIFIED ABOUT 100

VICTIMS OF PHYSICAL TORTURE SO FAR. HE NOTED THAT THE ONLY

VICTIMS WHO HAD BEEN ABLE TO COME FORWARD WERE THOSE WHO

WERE BASED IN OR HAD MANAGED TO MAKE THEIR WAY TO URBAN

AREAS. REELER BELIEVES THAT THE NUMBER OF VICTIMS WILL

EVENTUALLY BE FOUND TO NUMBER IN THE TENS OF THOUSANDS.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 04       HARARE 03029 02 OF 03 071024Z

—————

 

10. (U) THE GROUP PLANS TO ISSUE A REPORT IN WHICH IT WILL

RECOMMEND THE FOLLOWING COURSE OF ACTION FOR THE

ZIMBABWEAN GOVERNMENT (GOZ):

 

— IMMEDIATELY ACCEDE TO THE U.N. CONVENTION AGAINST TORTURE.

 

— APPOINT AN INDEPENDENT JUDICIAL COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE

HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS.

 

— IMPLEMENT A PROGRAM OF REPARATIONS, COMPENSATION, AND

REHABILITATION FOR VICTIMS OF TORTURE.

 

ABUSES OF FOREIGN NATIONALS

—————————

 

11. (SBU) MEMBERS OF THE FACT-FINDING MISSION ASKED THE

DIPLOMATS FOR INFORMATION ON ABUSES OF THEIR NATIONALS. THE

DIPLOMATS RESPONDED AS FOLLOWS:

 

AMERICAN: AMERICAN RESIDENTS IN ZIMBABWE HAVE WITNESSED

SEVERAL INCIDENCES OF VIOLENCE, INCLUDING SOME COMMITTED BY

WAR VETERANS ON THEIR PROPERTY, BUT HAVE NOT THEMSELVES BEEN

VICTIMS OF VIOLENCE.

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

CONFIDENTIAL     PTQ5887

 

PAGE 01       HARARE 03029 03 OF 03 071024Z

ACTION AF-00

 

INFO LOG-00   NP-00   AID-00   AMAD-01 ACQ-00   CIAE-00 SMEC-00

DODE-00 DOEE-00 ANHR-00 SRPP-00 DS-00   EB-00   EUR-00

VC-00   H-01     TEDE-00 INR-00   IO-00   L-00     VCE-00

AC-01   NSAE-00 NSCE-00 OIC-02   OMB-01   OPIC-01 PA-00

PM-00   PRS-00   ACE-00   P-00     SP-00   STR-00   TRSE-00

USIE-00 PMB-00   DSCC-00 PRM-01   DRL-02   G-00     NFAT-00

SAS-00     /010W

——————60009B 071026Z /38

P 071028Z JUN 00

FM AMEMBASSY HARARE

TO SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6222

INFO SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY

USMISSION USUN NEW YORK

USMISSION GENEVA

AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN

AMEMBASSY LONDON

AMEMBASSY PARIS

 

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 03 OF 03 HARARE 003029

 

SIPDIS

 

AF FOR A/S RICE, P/DAS POWELL, DAS SCHNEIDMAN

AF/S FOR A. RENDER, D. BOOTH, C. GURNEY

 

LONDON FOR PFLAUMER

PARIS FOR BISA WILLIAMS

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 02       HARARE 03029 03 OF 03 071024Z

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/01/10

TAGS: PHUM PGOV PREL EU ZI

SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS REPORT “SYSTEMATIC” TORTURE

 

BRITISH: SEVERAL INCIDENTS OF BEATINGS OR PSYCHOLOGICAL

INTIMIDATION AMONG BRITAIN’S 25,000 STRONG COMMUNITY.

 

GERMAN: SEVERAL INCIDENTS, INCLUDING TWO GERMANS (ORIGINALLY

REPORTED AS SOUTH AFRICANS) TIED UP AND BEATEN IN APRIL.

 

DUTCH: PSYCHOLOGICAL FEAR TACTICS AGAINST DUTCH FARMERS,

INCLUDING BEING FORCED TO DRIVE THEIR WORKERS TO ZANU-PF

RALLIES.

 

ITALY: MANY ITALIAN FARMERS HAVE WITNESSED BEATINGS. ONE WAS

FORCED TO LEAVE A MINING CONCERN HE OPERATED. SUSPECTED

GOVERNMENT AGENTS QUESTIONED ASSOCIATES OF AN ITALIAN DOCTOR

ABOUT HER POLITICAL ORIENTATION.

 

12. (C) COMMENT: THE INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL EXPERTS’ FINDINGS

TRACK WITH REPORTS WE HAVE PREVIOUSLY RECEIVED ON THE NATURE

AND SCALE OF VIOLENCE HERE IN THE RUN-UP TO THE PARLIAMENTARY

ELECTION. THESE HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN SEVERAL CABLES. IT IS, OF

COURSE, LIKELY THAT THE GOZ WILL IGNORE THE FINDINGS AND

RECOMMENDATIONS IN THE REPORT. HOWEVER, THE OBJECTIVITY AND

STATURE OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE MISSION GIVES INCREASED

CREDIBILITY TO ALLEGATIONS OF PHYSICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL

TORTURE, AND HIGHLIGHTS THE DAMAGING EFFECT OF SUCH ACTS NOT

ONLY ON INDIVIDUALS BUT ON SOCIETY AS A WHOLE. OBVIOUSLY,

THESE FINDINGS WILL HAVE VERY NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES ON THE

UPCOMING ELECTIONS. END COMMENT.

CONFIDENTIAL

 

PAGE 03       HARARE 03029 03 OF 03 071024Z

 

MCDONALD

 

CONFIDENTIAL

 

>

 

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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