The United Nations(UN) has urged the Zimbabwean authorities to ensure that people’s right to freedom of expression is respected.
This after at least 91 people were arrested on Saturday in a brutal crackdown on protesters in the capital, Harare.
A video circulating online shows police beating protesters with batons with most protesters appearing to be unarmed.
The opposition, Movement for Democratic Change(MDC), abandoned its plans for a protest against the deteriorating economic situation in Zimbabwe after the courts denied permission for the demonstration.
The MDC says it intends to use peaceful tactics to challenge President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s rule.
Speaking in Geneva, UN human rights spokesperson Rupert Colville says: “State authorities have a duty to ensure peoples’ right to freedom of expression and to facilitate and protect the right of peaceful assembly. In addition, we urge the senate when reviewing the Maintenance and Order Bill to protect the essential democratic freedoms of peaceful assembly and demonstration by ensuring the Bill is in compliance with the Zimbabwean Constitution, with the decisions of the Constitutional Court and with international human rights standards.”