Soldiers Broke The Law They Should Protect By Using Live Bullets: Amnesty International

Army General Constantino Chiwenga, left, chats with General Valerio Sibanda during the presidential inauguration ceremony in the capital Harare, Zimbabwe Friday, Nov. 24, 2017. Emmerson Mnangagwa is being sworn in as Zimbabwe's president after Robert Mugabe resigned on Tuesday, ending his 37-year rule. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

The international human rights group, Amnesty International has called on the government to launch a prompt and effective investigation into the army’s killing of protestors on Wednesday.

The army was deployed into the city centre after opposition supporters who were demonstrating against alleged electoral rigging by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) turned violent. In a statement, Amnesty International said,

Firearms must never be used as a tool for containing violence by protesters. They may only be used in defence against an imminent threat of death or serious injury, in order to save another life.

Colm Ó Cuanacháin, Amnesty International’s Acting Secretary General, said:

“The army’s conduct should be promptly investigated, with those responsible brought to justice.

“By using live ammunition against unarmed protesters, the army has broken the very same rule of law that they should protect.

“The militarisation of the prevailing post-election environment is muzzling freedom of expression, association and assembly. People must be guaranteed their right to protest.

“Media freedom must also be guaranteed and respected in this prevailing post-election environment. Journalists should not be intimidated for doing their work.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday said that he had since called for an independent investigation into the shootings.

Read Amnesty International’s Full Statement Here