In 2004 REDRESS issued a report on the trends and patterns of organised violence and torture in Zimbabwe, detailing their associations with elections and showing clearly and graphically that in recent years organised violence and torture were most closely associated with elections. This report expands on this and produces additional material on human rights violations in Zimbabwe. It also includes selected case studies on torture, some relating directly to political activity and others not. The purpose of these case studies is to illustrate the range of torture victims and the methods of torture employed. A trend was its use against Zanu-PF supporters themselves, deeply ingrained in certain sections of the police but particularly within the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO). The report questioned at the time whether it was possible to have free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, given both the scale and intensity of previous abuses, the extent to which these abuses had damaged the structures necessary for such a democratic exercise, and the ever-lurking threat of violence and torture which broke out periodically as the election date approached.
This report concludes that human rights violations in Zimbabwe during the period July 2001 to December 2003 cannot be described as random acts of political violence between political parties, nor as clashes due to problems over land. The most pressing conclusion of this report is that there is a clear association between serious violations of human rights violations and elections, and especially national elections.