PRETORIA, South Africa (AP) — President Robert Mugabe's police broke up anti-government demonstrations across Zimbabwe on Tuesday, arresting some people and beating up others, according to the opposition.
The police action came as human rights lawyers were holding a news conference in South Africa to say that state-sponsored violence was increasing in Zimbabwe. They joined other independent groups in condemning a suggestion from regional African leaders that Mugabe retain some control over his police force.
Police detained human rights activist Lovemore Madhuku, who called for the protests, keeping him from a demonstration in Harare, Zimbabwe's capital, according to a spokesman for Madhuku's group, the independent National Constitutional Assembly. Police also showed up at protests in four other cities.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said pro-democracy organizations had recorded more than 1,300 cases of political violence in September, up 39 percent from the previous month. The cases ranged from property destruction to rapes and killings....