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Rights group urges Zimbabwe's new government to end persistent human rights abuses

Global rights watchdog Amnesty International says Zimbabwe has failed to end human rights abuses despite adopting a new constitution that enshrines democratic rights.

The group said Monday that intimidation and arbitrary arrests of rights activists and critics of long-time President Robert Mugabe persist.

Noel Kututwa, Amnesty's deputy director for southern Africa, said Mugabe's government should use the new constitution as "a golden opportunity" to improve its poor human rights record and allow for freedom of expression.

The constitution, accepted in a national referendum in March, requires the repeal of sweeping security laws used by loyalist police to target Mugabe's opponents but the government hasn't yet done so.

Kututwa said Mugabe's new government, which won disputed elections in July, should send "a clear signal" that it will end rights violations.