July 24, 2018 / 9:43 AM / 4 months ago

Reports of voter intimidation, coercion ahead Zimbabwe poll - U.N.

Supporters of President Emmerson Mnangagwa gather at an election rally in Marondera, Zimbabwe, July 21, 2018. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

GENEVA (Reuters) - Voter intimidation, threats of violence and coercion including people forced to attend political rallies are being increasingly reported ahead of Zimbabwe’s elections on July 30, especially in rural areas, the U.N. human rights office said on Tuesday.

“There has also been the worrying use of disparaging language against female political candidates,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Elizabeth Throssell told a news briefing in Geneva.

“We call on the authorities – and political parties and their supporters – to ensure that the elections are not marred by such acts so that all Zimbabweans can participate free from fear in a credible election process,” she said.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles

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