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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

  • Support for the attempted March of 8 May 2007 by the Law Society of Zimbabwe
    Botswana Civil Society Coalition on Zimbabwe (BOCISCOZ)
    May 09, 2007

    Visit the special index page on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe

    At a meeting held on Tuesday 20 March 2007, we, BOCISCOZ, committed ourselves to take forward our movement to give solidarity to citizens of Zimbabwe.

    BOCISCOZ, comprising The Botswana Council of Churches (BCC), The Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO), The Botswana Secondary Teachers Trade Union (BOSETU), DITSHWANELO - The Botswana Centre for Human Rights, The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Botswana Chapter, The Concerned Africans Association (CAA), Amnesty International Botswana, The International Socialists Botswana, The Disability HIV/AIDS Trust (DHAT), The Botswana Congress Party (BCP), The Botswana National Front Youth League (BNFYL), The Bible Society of Botswana, Kgolagano Theological College, The Lutheran Church, Tirisanyo Catholic Commission, The Dutch Reformed Church, The Evangelical Fellowship of Botswana, The Kweneng Rural Development Association (KRDA), Lifeline Botswana, The Botswana Community Based Organisations Network (BOCOBONET), The Botswana Network on Law HIV and AIDS (BONELA), The Botswana Unified Local Government Service Association (BULGASA), The Botswana Teachers Union (BTU), Habitat for Humanity Botswana, CORDE, Childline, The Law Society of Botswana, Emang Basadi,, Botswana National Aid Services (BONASO), The Botswana Women's Shelter, and The Botswana Scouts, wish to express its solidarity with the members of the Law Society of Zimbabwe and their attempted march of 8 May 2007 in Harare, in which some of their members were assaulted.

    The march was staged in protest of the abuse of the rule of law and the increasing physical and verbal threats directed towards members of the legal profession in Zimbabwe. After gathering outside of the High Court, demonstrators were notified by police officers that the march had been banned and were asked to disperse, upon which the officers assaulted some of them.

    On Friday 4 May 2007, Attorneys Andrew Makoni and Alec Muchadehama were unlawfully arrested outside the High Court and detained until the evening of 7 May. The two men, who represent several opposition activists, were not made aware of the charges against them and denied access to their attorneys, medical attention, or families during the detention, in defiance of court orders.

    These disturbing incidents are the latest developments in a pattern of human rights violations, in which a disregard for constitutional law and the freedom of expression has been exhibited by senior police officers.

    BOCISCOZ commends the reported decision taken by the Pan-African Parliament to establish a body to investigate the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe. We acknowledge the role of MP Mr. Boyce Sebetela (Botswana) who supported the motion, which was tabled by South Africa. We furthermore call for serious engagement by SADC, and its appointed liaison President Thabo Mbecki of South Africa, with the Government of Zimbabwe in holding law enforcement accountable for this behaviour.

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