Rights groups in Zimbabwe are now reporting that 17 people were killed during a security crackdown that began in January.
In an updated report, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum says the rights violations it has documented warrant being treated as crimes against humanity.
The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum describes these violations as gross and systematic.
It’s documented the deaths of 17 people, up from 12, and says most died at the hands of security forces.
It’s also verified 17 cases of sexual assault and rape and says survivors identified soldiers as the perpetrators.
This report, entitled On the Days of Darkness in Zimbabwe says a total of 81 people suffered gunshot wounds and more than 580 were assaulted at the hands of police and army.
The Zimbabwean government hasn’t responded to these latest findings, but top army officer Douglas Nyikayaramba is quoted in state media on Thursday saying any member who committed offences will be arrested and disciplined.