Monday, January 19, 2009

Zim attorney general defends torture, abductions

from the VOA

Zimbabwe Attorney General Johannes Tomana stirred up a controversy this week when he was quoted in the state-controlled Herald newspaper as saying that the state can use extra-judicial measures such as abductions and torture if national security is at risk.

Human rights activists condemned his comments saying they showed that the rule of law has been seriously undermined by the long-ruling ZANU-PF party which Tomana backs.

But Tomana told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that justice is intact, saying state security agents can use extra-judicial measures in some cases. "Torture internationally is condemned, even our national laws condemn it," he said.

"But it is important to understand what that means. If somebody turns themselves into a real beast against the security of the people, I think it is very immoral to talk about very nice ways of dealing with them. When people do not deal with human beings as humans, people that threaten the security of people are not behaving as human beings and when they do that the methods of accounting for them differ," Tomana said....

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