Al Jazeera journalist among 85 injured as Mugabe crushes protesters

Riot police. Batons. Tear Gas. Beatings.

There were scenes of mayhem in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Wednesday when riot police cracked down on nearly 2,000 anti-government protesters marching through the city. At least 85 people were injured.

Haru Mutasa, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in southern Africa, was covering the protests when she was also beaten by the police. She was one of several journalists who were attacked. Some reportedly lost their equipment.

“Seconds before riot police charged”

Mutasa, a Zimbabwean national, also managed to document part of the demonstration seconds before the riot police charged the protesters.

Protesters had assembled outside the finance minister’s office to demand that government abandon plans to introduce local bank notes that will be used alongside the US dollar.

The country’s economy is in a state of meltdown and street protests are taking place almost daily, as frustration over unemployment and corruption grows.

Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists, Foster Dongozi condemned the police for “brutally attacking members of the press”.

Meanwhile, Charity Charamba, a police spokesperson said that “officers only acted in self-defence after the demonstrators started throwing stones.”

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Featured image: via Twitter.