Zimbabwe police attack miners' wives protesting over unpaid wages

Baton-carrying Zimbabwean police beat up more than 100 women protesting against the non-payment of their husbands' wages by the country's largest coal miner last week, a rights group said Monday.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said the police assaulted the women for staging a protest march after their husbands who are employed by Hwange Colliery Company, west of the country, went for several months without pay.

One of the women was so badly injured she is said to be fighting for her life.

"Lawyers have intervened to seek justice for some women who were brutalised by armed officers of the ...police for protesting against state-owned coal miner Hwange Colliery Company's failure to pay their husbands' salaries for several months," said the ZLHR.

"Four of the women were badly injured and are in hospital, where one of them is battling for her life in the intensive care unit," the group said in a statement.

The lawyers said two women arrested during the protest, were later released.

Zimbabwe police were not immediately available to comment.