Zimbabwe Minister Rejects Torture Claims

Posted May 21st, 2012 at 11:15 am (UTC-5)
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Zimbabwe's justice minister says there is no state-sponsored torture in the country, rejecting allegations by human rights groups.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa spoke to reporters Monday after a meeting in Harare with visiting U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay.

Zimbabwe invited Pillay in response to rights groups accusing state authorities of torture and violence against political activists, especially during Zimbabwe's disputed 2008 elections.

Pillay arrived in Zimbabwe on Sunday for a five-day visit to assess the country's rights situation.

Chinamasa said accusations of state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe are “all lies,” and called for an investigation into such allegations.

Chinamasa also said he made it clear that the government will arrest anyone found committing homosexual acts.

Rights groups say that during the 2008 elections, supporters of President Robert Mugabe killed, tortured and beat hundreds of political opponents.

After the elections, Mr. Mugabe and longtime opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai formed a unity government that remains fragile.

Pillay is expected to visit with both President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai during her visit.