Tag Archives: Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Authorities escalate attack on human rights defenders

May 27, 2019

Image result for Amnesty International Zimbabwe

Zimbabwean authorities have this afternoon arrested two more human rights defenders at the Harare airport in a mounting onslaught on the rights to freedom of expression and association, Amnesty International said today.

The two, Stabile Dewah (35) and Rita Nyamupinga (61), bring to seven the number of human rights defenders arrested at Robert Mugabe International Airport in the past seven days as they returned from a capacity-building workshop on non-violent protest tactics in the Maldives.

“The first five human rights defenders arrested are facing trumped up charges for exercising their human rights. They should be released immediately and unconditionally. The charges against them fit into a much wider pattern of repression we have documented in Zimbabwe,” said Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa.

The first batch of activists – George Makoni, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Gamuchirai Mukura, Nyasha Mpahlo and Farirai Gumbonzvanda – have been accused of “plotting to overthrow President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government”. The two activists arrested today are also likely to be charged with subverting a constitutional government.

“Since January’s protests we have witnessed a mounting crackdown on human rights defenders and activists. Lawyers, journalists and even medical doctors have not been spared. Zimbabwe’s authorities have declared anyone who exercises their right to freedom expression and association an enemy of the state. This witch-hunt must stop,” said Muleya Mwananyanda.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2019/05/zimbabwe-authorities-escalate-attack-on-human-rights-defenders/

https://citizen.co.za/news/news-africa/2135973/zim-government-persecuting-human-rights-activists-says-amnesty-international/

https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/27/zimbabwe-authorities-escalate-attack-on-human-rights-defenders/

Human Rights Defenders Charged with Plotting to Overthrow Mnangagwa’s Govt as Authorities Target More Citizens

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Zimbabwe: Drama at Kwekwe magistrates courts

April 29, 2019

There was drama at Kwekwe magistrates courts on Thursday afternoon where a local lawyer was reportedly denied access to talk to his client who had been arrested by the police for an alleged foreign currency dealing.

The lawyer Lenon Mapfumo from Marufu Misi Law Chambers was allegedly bared from seeing his client Larry Munashe who was detained at Kwekwe Central Police by the two detective constables only identified as Bvaure and Chitima respectively.

When the lawyer was on his way to the police station he encountered the two police details at Kwekwe magistrates Court.

When the lawyer inquired about the reason and whereabouts of his client  demanding to see his client in line with Section 70 1 (d) of the Constitution  of Zimbabwe  which confers a right on people to be legally represented by lawyers of their own choice. A scuff ensued at the court premises.

The officers threatened to arrest Mapfumo for disturbing their peace but Mapfumo did not budge they tried to handcuff him and he resisted drawing the attention of people at the court.

Court business was brought to halt as Mapfumo wrestled with the two detectives who had to use maximum force by pinning him on the ground and dragging him to the police station.

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-161487.html

http://www.newsdzezimbabwe.co.uk/2019/04/cops-arrest-lawyer-at-court.html

Zimbabwe: Police arrest and release Coltart

April 29, 2019

The Zimbabwe Republic Police on Sunday arrested Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyer Douglas Coltart and charged him with Participating in gathering with intent to promote public violence, breaches of the peace or bigotry.

Announcing on a video posted on social media on Sunday Coltart said, “I have been called for questioning at Harare Central Police this morning in connection with the meeting yesterday from which 4 teachers were abducted and beaten by CIO and later handed over to the police. Would appreciate your prayers.”

The Code says that the crime of participating in a gathering with intent to promote public violence, a breach of the peace or bigotry is committed whether the action constituting it is spontaneous or planned in advance, and whether the place or meeting where it occurred is public or private.

The human rights lawyer was however released together with the four teachers after the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights dispatched a team of legal representatives to assist in the matter.

“I’ve been released after being charged with section 37 of the Criminal Code along with Roboh, Precious, Munya and Jess.” Coltart later said in an update. “Thank you ZLHR for the excellent legal representation from Denford Halimani and Tino Shoko. Aluta Continua!”

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-161490.html

Police arrest Human Rights Lawyer Douglas Coltart

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https://www.facebook.com/ZimbabweLawyersforHumanRights/

Zimbabwe: Top rights lawyer, four teachers charged for anti-govt plot

April 28, 2019

Lawyers divided over onslaught on Judiciary

PROMINENT human rights lawyer Douglas Coltart and four teachers union leaders were Sunday charged for attending a meeting which police say was meant to strategise on committing acts of civil disobedience throughout the country.

The teachers are Robson Chere, Jess Drury, Precious Ndlovu and Munyaradzi Ndawana and are all from the militant Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ) which is famous for embarking on a 275KM march last year to protest poor wages by government.

The concerned meeting which has caught the attention of the law enforcement agents is one in which the teachers were attending a Trainer of Trainers workshop at a Harare hotel Saturday.

Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com Sunday, Tinomuda Shoko, a lawyer with the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said Coltart and the four teachers were charged for allegedly violating the Criminal Law Codification Act.

“All the five were charged with strategising on disobedience and planning to participate in criminal acts,” she said.

“The police are saying they participated in a meeting and planning to commit acts of public violence and bigotry and that they there were strategising on civil disobedience.”

https://www.newzimbabwe.com/top-rights-lawyer-four-teachers-charged-for-anti-govt-plot/

Human Rights Lawyer Doug Coltart Summoned By Police

WATCH: Teacher Activists “Beaten Badly” By Intelligence Officers Before Hand Over To Police, Lawyer Claims

Doug Coltart Charged And Released Together With Rural Teacher Activists

Doug Coltart Called For Questioning In Connection With A Rural Teachers Meeting Where 4 Leaders Were Abducted By CIOs

Human Right Lawyer, Doug Coltart Not Afraid Of Mnangagwa

Lawyers divided over onslaught on Judiciary

https://www.pindula.co.zw/Douglas_Coltart

Zimbabwe: Zimbabwe President’s Threats to Lawyers Criticized

February 20, 2019

FILE - Zimbabwe President Emmerson Mnangagwa addresses ruling ZANU-PF party supporters in Zvimba, Robert Mugabe’s rural home, southwest of Harare, Nov. 24, 2018. (C. Mavhunga for VOA)

Zimbabwe President Emerson Mnangagwa has issued a chilling warning to lawyers and doctors who assisted victims of a deadly government crackdown on fuel protests last month.

Speaking at a rally over the weekend, Mnangagwa vowed his readiness to deploy soldiers again to thwart protesters.

The southern African nation’s main labor body, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), called the mid-January protest over a 150 percent fuel hike, urging people to stay away from businesses and commercial activities for three days.

The government has blamed the opposition MDC Alliance for violence that left 13 citizens dead and scores injured. Citing media and civil society reports, the alliance counters that security forces led the charge to loot businesses.

Mnangagwa previously had called for an investigation into the violence. But at a rally Saturday, he chillingly vowed to pursue human rights lawyers and doctors, claiming they were aiding and abetting protesters.

“We are going to hunt down lawyers and doctors who were inciting violence. We are now going after them,” the Zanu PF leader said in Rutenga, a community some 450 kilometers south of the capital, Harare.

https://www.voanews.com/a/zimbabwe-president-s-threats-to-lawyers-criticized/4796461.html

https://www.voazimbabwe.com/a/zimbabwe-lawyers-for-human-rights/4807921.html?fbclid=IwAR0oAhCx1D_0U3CQuFl-0wdeE2YzpYs8xBqZqZmvOuNcKXDyEmExHSv_lMA

https://www.trtworld.com/magazine/zimbabwean-government-extends-crackdown-to-aid-groups-24450

https://nehandaradio.com/2019/03/16/zim-remains-in-turmoil-after-jan-unrest/

http://www.zlhr.org.zw/?fbclid=IwAR06sBUaKn1Foho6hI7HhzD65F8PEndXDq6_lT9qsaonDwKxGC2Ol8RODEM

Zimbabwe: Acts of intimidation against Mr. Okay Machisa, Ms. Beatrice Mtetwa and Pastor Evan Magwarire | Letter

February 1, 2019

Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada (LRWC), a committee of lawyers and other human rights defenders, that promotes compliance with international human rights, the integrity of legal systems and the rule of law through advocacy, legal research and education. LRWC has Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

LRWC objects to Zimbabwe’s failure to respect and protect its citizens’ rights as exemplified by the increasing number of citizens who have been arrested and are facing prosecution for participating in peaceful protests. Also of concern are the numbers of lawyers and human rights defenders who have been threatened, arbitrarily detained and arrested in apparent retaliation for exercising their constitutional rights.

The right to freedom of assembly is a fundamental human right and is guaranteed in section 58 of Zimbabwe’s constitution. Furthermore, section 67 guarantees every citizen the right to political participation to engage in peaceful activities to influence, challenge or support the policies of the government. LRWC encourages you to respect these same rights as a signatory to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Recent incidents include the acts of intimidation against Mr. Okay Machisa, National Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) along with his family, and many other ZimRights lawyers. Also of concern is the recent arbitrary arrest and detention of Pastor Evan Magwarire on 16 January 2019, who is facing charges of “subverting a constitutional government” and is scheduled for a bail hearing on 29 January 2019. LRWC is also gravely concerned by the recently revealed attempted deportation of Beatrice Mtetwa, a prominent human rights lawyer, to her country of birth Swaziland during the 2013 harmonized election campaign, reports of rapes of women by Zimbawean security forces, the arrests and arbitrary detention of many Zimbabwe citizens and children as young as eleven years old, and the surveillance and intimidation of human rights defenders both within and outside Zimbabwe on their alleged involvement in the protest.

https://www.lrwc.org/zimbabwe-acts-of-intimidation-against-mr-okay-machisa-ms-beatrice-mtetwa-and-pastor-evan-magwarire-letter/

https://www.fidh.org/en/issues/human-rights-defenders/zimbabwe-intimidation-of-okay-machisa-and-other-members-of-zimrights

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-153364.html

http://www.omct.org/human-rights-defenders/urgent-interventions/zimbabwe/2019/02/d25225/

https://citizen.co.za/news/news-africa/2074878/us-lawyers-concerned-over-zim-legal-system/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/lawyers-march-in-zimbabwe-capital-alleging-denial-of-justice/2019/01/29/68d33b7c-23cb-11e9-b5b4-1d18dfb7b084_story.html?utm_term=.3943eccafbda

https://mg.co.za/article/2019-01-23-systematic-torture-killings-abductions-assaults-zim-rights-commission-speaks-out

https://www.newsday.co.zw/2019/02/un-condemns-zim-rights-abuses/

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_Mtetwa

https://www.voaafrique.com/a/les-avocats-du-zimbabwe-reclament-justice-pour-les-manifestants-emprisonn%C3%A9s/4763583.html (FRANCAIS)

https://www.fidh.org/fr/regions/afrique/zimbabwe/zimbabwe-la-repression-des-manifestations-pacifiques-doit-cesser-les (FRANCAIS)

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

Zimbabwe/Swaziland: Mnangagwa tried to deport Beatrice Mtetwa

January 11, 2019

President Emmerson Mnangagwa led a ZANU PF election war room team that tried to deport to prominent Human Rights Lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa to her country of birth Swaziland during the height of the 2013 harmonised election campaign.

This was revealed by exiled Professor Jonathan Moyo in an expose’ on Econet Boss Strive Masiyiwa on Thursday.

Said Moyo, ” The full 2013 poll group had: Emmerson Mnangagwa (who chaired it), Dr Sydney Sekeramayi, Patrick Chinamasa (deputy chair), Nicholas Goche, Gen Constantino Chiwenga, Augustine Chihuri, Happyton Bonyongwe, Walter Tapfumaneyi, Kizito Gweshe, George Charamba  and Jonathan Moyo.

“The group’s overarching agenda was to: 1. Contain  Sadc mediation, so it does not derail 2013 elections. 2. Ensure that Parliament is dissolved by 29 June 2013  and elections are held soon thereafter. 3. Get  Econet  and diamond companies to fund elections to avoid UN funding.

“Besides the three-pronged agenda, there were other daily issues that cropped up. One was a report that lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa had blocked a police raid on Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s Bath Rd offices in Belgravia. The group decided to have Mtetwa deported but this failed.”

Beatrice, a past president of the Zimbabwean Law Society,  was arrested for “obstructing or defeating the course of justice”. She was arrested in Harare on 17 March 2013 after she asked to see the search warrant of police officers who were conducting what she called an “unlawful, unconstitutional, illegal and undemocratic” search of the home of her client.

https://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-153364.html

https://www.zimeye.net/2019/01/11/charambas-role-in-2013-poll-group-exposed/

https://nehandaradio.com/2018/12/31/biti-case-brings-judiciary-under-spotlight/

https://www.law.ac.uk/blog/profile-beatrice-mtetwa/

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3486400/

https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/case/case-history-beatrice-mtetwa

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beatrice_Mtetwa

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/uk-index.htm

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ludovic_Trarieux_International_Human_Rights_Prize

http://www.ludovictrarieux.org/ (FRANCAIS)

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prix_Ludovic-Trarieux (FRANCAIS)