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Makoni released - two American women spent a night in custody
in Zimbabwe Coalition
August 23, 2007
At exactly 0806
hours, 22 August 2007, The Director of Girl
Child Network and Chairperson of Women's
Coalition, Betty Makoni and two women from the United States
of America were re-arrested at Harare Central Police station. The
trio had been summoned the previous day to report at the police
station which led to their subsequent arrest.
Betty Makoni was released
last night around 2100 hours after enduring 13 hours of state interrogations.
Charges leveled against Betty Makoni were not yet clear by the time
of going to press. The two American women have spent a night in
detention as the police are arguing that they are still preparing
their case before handing them over to the courts.
The two American
women one aged 23 and the other one in her early 50s had their passports
and air tickets confiscated before having their finger prints taken.
Police are charging them under the repressive Access
to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) section
84 on charges of filming in the country without state accreditation.
The three were
last night denied legal aid. The Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZHLR) representative Mr Chimbwa was
manhandled and dragged out of the police station before being threatened
with imprisonment if he was to remain persistent on gaining access
to his clients.
Crisis in Zimbabwe
Coalition deplores the state's gross disregard of both the
country's constitution and regional laws, which grant the
citizenry the right to freedom of assembly, association, choice
and expression. The incarceration of human rights activists is a
clear indication of the verdict, which will be delivered in the
2008 elections. The democratic space continues to shrink as the
state intensifies its harassment of human rights activists, journalists,
opposition members and the citizenry at large in its attempt to
hold on to power by all means necessary.
Visit the Crisis
in Zimbabwe fact
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