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Zim women's prison a house of horrors

26 September 2011, 23:39 Columbus Mavhunga

Harare - A pressure group on Monday denounced what it described as the inhumane condition facing women imprisoned in police cells in Zimbabwe.

In a petition to the country's highest court, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) said incarcerated women were being forced to take off their underwear and shoes, while their cells have no light or sanitation.

"The application seeks to highlight the plight of women in detention, by showing the added hardships they have to endure on account of their sex.

"The filth, coupled with lack of access to sanitation, constitutes a violation of the rights of women in detention," Belinda Chinowawa of the Zimbabwe of Lawyers for Human Rights told the German Press Agency dpa.

The petition follows the recent arrest of four WOZA activists, who were detained at Harare Central Police station for demonstrating against escalating energy costs.

In 2005, the country's Supreme Court Chief ruled that two police cells in Harare were "degrading and inhumane and unfit for holding criminal suspects".



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