Zimbabwe: the High Commissioner has left; arbitrary arrests continue

July 2, 2012

The UN High commissioner of Human Rights has hardly left the country and the regime shows its true nature by arresting a groups of  peaceful demonstrators.

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders has been informed by reliable sources about the repression of a peaceful demonstration organised by Women and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), a civic movement that defends women’s rights and freedoms in Zimbabwe.

According to the information received, on June 27, 2012 in the morning, 101 members of WOZA were arrested in the centre of Bulawayo, where protests were due to start at 11.00 a.m in ten different locations. All were taken to Bulawayo Central Police Station, many of whom handcuffed. Their lawyers were denied access to their clients on three occasions. The 101 were released without charges between 4.30 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. on the same day, in batches of 5 people so as to prevent any mass protests. 

Previously, on June 26, 2012, eight members of the Zimbabwe Human Rights Association (ZimRights) were also arrested in Bulawayo as they were on their way back from a workshop to commemorate the 2012 United Nations International Day in Respect of Victims of Torture. They were also detained at Bulawayo Central Police Station for an hour, before being released without charges.

On the same day in Karoi, four other members of ZimRights were briefly detained before being released without charges.

The Observatory, a joint programme of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT), expresses its deepest concern about the increasing obstacles to freedom of assemblyrefers these cases to the United Nations Special Rapporteurs and requests urgent intervention by all. For action modalities go to:

Zimbabwe: Arbitrary arrests of WOZA peaceful demonstrators / June 29, 2012 / Urgent Interventions / Human rights defenders / OMCT.

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