AI Index: AFR 46/007/2011
25 March 2011
Two leaders of the social justice movement Women of
On 12 February, WOZA staged its ninth annual Valentine's Day peaceful protest in
Since February, police appear to have launched a crackdown in which human rights activists across the country including WOZA members have been systematically targeted. In one incident, on 28 February, seven members of WOZA and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA) were arrested in
On 26 November 2010, the Justice of Appeal at the Supreme Court ruled that Williams and Mahlangu had been wrongfully arrested and detained following a peaceful protest in 2008, and as a result had had their rights and fundamental freedoms violated. The ruling also found that the state had failed to protect the activists from this abuse.
PLEASE ACT NOW.
* Express concern to the authorities about the systematic harassment by officers under their command of WOZA members, including Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, and urge them to end these practices by the Law and Order Section of the Zimbabwe Republic Police.
* Urge the authorities to ensure that in their conduct, police officers are mindful of, and respect, the ruling by the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe on 26 November 2010 that Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu were arrested in violation of their rights and fundamental freedoms, and detained over a peaceful demonstration in 2008.
* Urge them to ensure that officers under their command respect and protect all human rights in line with Article 1 of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Co-operating Organization Code of Conduct for Police Officials.
ADDRESS YOUR APPEALS TO:
Deputy Commissioner-General (Crime)
Fax: 011 263 4 253 212
Salutation: Dear Deputy Commissioner-General
Officer in Charge
Bulawayo Central Police Station
Zimbabwe Republic Police
PO Box 2329
Fife Street/ L Takawira Avenue
Fax: 011 263 9 65763
Salutation: Dear Officer in Charge
AND COPIES TO:
Her Excellency Florence Zano Chideya
Fax: (613) 422-7403
Note: Even though the address and fax numbers are correct, the Embassy has been refusing Messages. If that happens to yours, you do not need to alert the UA office.
Chief Law Officer
Office of the Attorney General
Fax: 011 263 9 66824
Since February 2003, members of the Zimbabwean social justice movement WOZA (Women of Zimbabwe Arise) have been repeatedly arrested while taking part in peaceful demonstrations against the worsening social, economic, and human rights situation in the country. While in detention, the women have been held in poor and overcrowded conditions, usually for periods ranging from a few hours to several days. WOZA activists have been threatened and assaulted by police officers, who have also obstructed their access to lawyers.
Urgent Action Office Amnesty International
1992 Yonge St, 3rd floor
(416) 363 9933 ext 325 / Fax (416) 363 3103
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer(s) and not do necessarily reflect the views of the AfricaFiles' editors and network members. They are included in our material as a reflection of a diversity of views and a variety of issues. Material written specifically for AfricaFiles may be edited for length, clarity or inaccuracies.