Zim human rights lawyers celebrate as police brutality is punished

A court ordered a policeman to pay damages of more than R16,000 to a suspect he assaulted.

Picture: Saps.

HARARE - Human rights lawyers in Zimbabwe are celebrating after a court ordered a policeman to pay damages of more than R16,000 to a suspect he assaulted.

Lawyers say the man had been arrested for trying to disrupt a ruling party rally and suggesting President Robert Mugabe would die.

The ruling is being seen as a victory for citizens' rights in a country, where claims of police assault are not uncommon.

Thirty-seven-year-old Samson Jackson was arrested more than a year ago at a ruling party rally in the east of the country.

He's alleged to have said ZANU-PF was rotten and that Mugabe would die.

He was assaulted by a police constable while in custody and had to spend four days in hospital.

Yesterday, a court in the eastern city of Mutare ordered that R1,700 be taken from the police officer's pay cheque for 10 months so that the damages are paid.