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Zimbabwe police detain activists for watching video of North African revolts

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In Zimbabwe, however, the machinery of repression appears to have been ready to prevent even the sparks of such a protest. Mr. Mugabe's regime has long used North Korean-trained brigades to put down regional rebellions, Central Intelligence Organization agents to infiltrate opposition parties, and so-called war veterans militia groups to push white farmers off their lands.

Mugabe tightens grip

One prominent activist, Joe Sikhala of the Movement for Democratic Change, has been arrested and is apparently being held with a broken pelvis, receiving no medical treatment. Police in the southern Matabeleland region have been put on alert to arrest members of a separatist party. Teachers around the country have announced that they will go on strike if their schools continue to be used as recruitment camps for Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party youth league. And a planned Million Citizen March, scheduled for today in Harare, seems to have fizzled even before it began, as security forces patrol the streets in larger numbers than usual.

Torture has been used against the detainees arrested for watching the video, including lashes on the back, which Professor Gwisai of the University of Zimbabwe testified in court was "indescribable, sadistic, and a tragedy for Zimbabwe." Some of the activists arrested with Gwisai are HIV patients, and have been denied their medications.

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