In response to the military takeover and subsequent control of certain streets of the capital city Harare and the state-run broadcaster Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for Southern Africa Deprose Muchena said:
“At this tense time, it is essential that the military ensure the safety and security of all people in Zimbabwe – regardless of their political allegiance – and refrain from any action that puts lives and human rights at risk.
“Military officials must uphold human rights, including the right to liberty, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The free flow of information – through the media and social media – must be guaranteed.
“The military takeover should not be used as an excuse to undermine Zimbabwe’s international and regional human rights obligations and commitments.”
The Zimbabwe Defence Forces spokesperson Sibusiso Moyo announced the military takeover. He said that said they were targeting people around President Robert Mugabe who had caused “social and economic suffering” to bring them to justice.