Posts Tagged ‘Leo Chamahwinya’

ZimRights Director Okay Machisa arrested in Harare

January 17, 2013

The Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK) Center denounced the arrest of Okay Machisa, director of the human rights group ZimRights and the most recent target in a series of arrests against Zimbabwean civil society activists in the lead up to the nations 2013 election. Since August of last year, nearly a dozen organizations – including Women of Zimbabwe Arise, Counseling Services Unit, and the Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe – have experienced harassment in the form of office raids, multiple arrests, and physical abuse at the hands of police. Mr. Machisas arrest, on the grounds of conspiring to “commit voter registration fraud and publishing or communicating falsehoods”occurred just one month after the arrest of his deputy at ZimRights, Leo Chamahwinya.

The increasingly brazen steps that Zimbabwean authorities have taken to block civic activism are an unsettling reminder of the violence and intimidation that has marred past elections,” said Santiago Canton, Director of Partners for Human Rights at the RFK Center. “In December, President Mugabe resolved to deregister so-called errant civic groups that deviate from their mandate during his annual political party conference in December. The international community, and in particular, leaders from the Southern African Development Community, must urge the government of Zimbabwe to immediately end all forms of harassment and intimidation against civil society organizations and human rights activists.”

Yesterday, January 16, Mr. Machisa was denied bail by a Harare Magistrate and remanded in custody until January 30 on dubious grounds.

via RFK Center Denounces Arrest of ZimRights Director

http://nehandaradio.com/2013/01/17/persecution-of-human-rights-defenders-unacceptable/