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  • Zimbabwe lawyers take to the streets
    Religious Intelligence
    December 10, 2008

    Members of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) on Wednesday December 10, 2008 took to the streets of Harare in a march to mark the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day.

    The lunchtime march started at the corner of Fourth Street and Samora Machel Avenue, past the High Court and Munhumutapa Building, which houses the offices of President Robert Mugabe through to Harare Gardens, where ZLHR board member Precious Chakasikwa read a speech at the Human Rights tree.

    The procession then proceeded to Parliament Building and the Supreme Court where they handed over petitions to representatives of the Speaker of Parliament Mr Lovemore Moyo and Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, who undertook to hand over the petitions to the two.

    The ZLHR members most of whom are lawyers wore their regalia and waved placards and posters denouncing human rights violations and the intensified crackdown on human rights defenders.

    Some of the placards read; "Stop Abductions, Judicial Independence not Judicial Dependence. The protestors also carried two big banners that read; "Dignity and Justice for All Us," and "Enforced Disappearance Crime Against Humanity Jestina Women of Peace Witness Against Violence. 7 days Where is She. Help her Safe Return," in reference to crusading human rights defender and Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) director Jestina Mukoko who was abducted by some yet to be identified assailants last Wednesday.

    In the petitions handed over to Justice Chidyausiku and Mr Moyo ZLHR members voiced its concern to the continued violation of human rights by the government and its refusal to address the country's long standing human rights concerns.

    "Zimbabwe has in the past year continued to suffer gross violations of human rights, seen through the state's clamp down on human rights defenders and the arrests of numerous women human rights defenders, student activists, labour leaders and legitimate opposition political opponents. Violations of economic and social rights have ascended to new heights as Zimbabweans are shoved deeper into poverty as the country's economic meltdown descends to unprecedented lows.

    Basic human rights such as the right to food, shelter, clothing, education and health have become alien to millions of Zimbabweans," read part of the petition.

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