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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

UN Rights Leader Condemns Zimbabwe Arrests

GENEVA -- The UN high commissioner for human rights Tuesday added her condemnation to growing global outrage at the arrest and reported beating and torture of senior members of Zimbabwe's opposition movement.

Reports of violence by police against opposition party members at a rally Sunday were "shocking" and the country's courts needed to act to safeguard the rule of law, Louise Arbour said in a statement issued by her office.

"This form of repression and intimidation of a peaceful assembly is unacceptable, and the loss of life makes this even more disturbing," the high commissioner said.

Her comments came as Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of Zimbabwe's main opposition party, who was reportedly severely beaten before being arrested by police, appeared in a magistrates court in the capital, Harare, along with about 50 other democracy activists who had been arrested by police as they broke up Sunday's rally.

Arbour said she welcomed a Zimbabwe High Court judge's order that Tsvangirai be immediately granted medical treatment and access to his lawyers and brought before the judge or released.

Instead, they were brought to a magistrate's court -- which is a lower court -- and lawyers said police did not allow the medical care and legal advice that the High Court judge had ordered.