Zimbabwe police report 46,000 arrests in squatter sweep

Zimbabwe police report 46,000 arrests in squatter sweep

[JURIST] Zimbabwe's police chief has confirmed that 46,000 people have been arrested in "Operation Restore Order," a highly controversial government initiative to reduce crime and illegal buildings in Harare and other towns. The state demolition of "illegal" backyard shacks and showstalls, the arrest of street vendors and the confiscation of their property has drawn international condemnation for targetting the poor and for employing extreme violence which has left a rumber of people dead, including children. On Thursday a coalition of more than 200 NGOs called for a halt [JURIST report]. President Robert Mugabe has insisted that the Operation's goal is to "bettter the common man", improve infrastructure and fight crime in urban areas. According to the United Nations and the opposition, the exercise has left between 200,000 and 1.5 million people homeless, respectively. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has more.