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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Index of articles on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe
Statement on the unlawful detention of Makoni and Muchadehama
Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust (ZIMCET)
May 08, 2007
the special index page on the mistreatment of the legal profession
Zimbabwe Civic Education Trust is deeply perturbed by the unlawful
arrest and detention of two lawyers Andrew Makoni and Alec Muchadehama.
The law enforcement agents are alleged to have ignored, with impunity,
three court orders to release the human rights lawyers over the
weekend. This smacks of arrogance on the part of the supposed custodians
of the law. To add insult to injury, the police are further alleged
to have ransacked the lawyers' offices and confiscated documents
using a search warrant which lawyers were denied the right to scrutiny.
Zimbabwe is a democratic society and no one should be above law
because any signs of abuse of power and authority destroy the justice
development adds to the growing list of the police impunity as far
as respecting rule of law is concerned. In February and March the
police had a series of clashes with opposition parties and civic
leaders after they disregarded High Court rulings. The police barred
the groups from holding prayer meetings although they had been cleared
by the courts. This makes one wonder who will police the police
particularly when disregarding the court orders lead to confrontation
with the citizens.
hereby joins other civic organisations and concerned citizens in
denouncing these continued violations of human rights by the law
enforcement agents and call on the authorities to exercise restraint
and avoid politicising arrests because this sends a wrong message
particularly when lawyers are treated as criminals in the discharge
of their duties. ZIMCET calls upon the powers-that-be to speak out
against rights violations as strongly as they do when the opposition
or civic organisations are perceived to be on the wrong side of
the law. The people of Zimbabwe perpetually live in fear, not in
fear of an external enemy but fear of their supposed protectors.
The police should be there to defend and promote human rights. Those
in the police force who are found guilty of these atrocious human
rights abuses should be made personal answerable for their actions.
We all need a peaceful Zimbabwe without unnecessary confrontations.
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