A Zimbabwean comedian, Samantha Kureya, known by her stage name as “Gonyeti”, has been found after being abducted and beaten by masked gunmen in the capital Harare, her relatives and colleagues say.
Gonyeti was allegedly abducted and tortured by the yet-to-be-identified assailants for being critical of the police and government in her skits.
Her colleague claimed she was taken from her home, beaten and forced to drink sewage before being dumped.
While the police have not yet commented on Gonyeti’s abduction, BBC reports that in Zimbabwe, comedians have historically found it difficult to make jokes about authority, fearing jail.
Her brother, Jonathan Gasa, told the BBC that about six armed masked men stormed her home on Wednesday night, took her away, stripped and assaulted her.
He said they accused her of undermining the government with her skits.
She was found three hours later, having been dumped in a bush in the suburbs of Harare, one of her colleagues said.
He added that he picked her up and took her to the hospital for scans which confirmed no bones had been broken.
But he was still concerned for her health because she was forced to drink sewage, he added.
In a tweet, opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Nelson Chamisa called her abduction a “barbaric human rights violation.”
Her abduction follows several recent cases of activists who were planning anti-government protests being abducted and tortured, human rights groups say.
The Zimbabwean authorities denied any involvement in those abductions, and have not yet commented on the comedian’s abduction.