Archive for Monday, April 2, 2007

Police assault, detain teens in disco raid

April 2, 2007


— Heavily armed paramilitary police raided a popular nightclub in an affluent, predominantly white part of Zimbabwe's capital, attacking teenagers with riot batons and detaining scores for hours, witnesses said Sunday.

The raid in Harare came after police shut down bars and beer halls in impoverished black townships as part of its latest crackdown on dissent. It was the first time an upscale establishment patronized by the nation's dwindling white community has been targeted.

Witness Keith Murray, 20, said about 20 paramilitary police armed with automatic rifles and batons stormed the Glow nightclub Saturday night and forced revelers - both white and black - to sit on the dance floor in silence. Three who protested and kept talking were assaulted, he said.

The youths were jostled into lines and frog-marched into a cage wire enclosure outside. At least 100 were then taken in police buses to the feared downtown central police station. One who tried to get onto a police bus to help his girlfriend was dragged off and hit. Another girl asking friends to call her parents was slapped for not remaining silent, Murray said.


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