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NANGO Condemns arrest of child rights activists
National Association of Non-Governmental Organisations in Zimbabwe (NANGO)
August 23, 2007

The National Association of Non Governmental Organizations (NANGO), representing NGOs operating in Zimbabwe notes with deep concern the arrest of Betty Makoni, the Director of the Girl Child Network and two American women. It condemns all unjustified and targeted attacks on members of the NGO sector genuinely fighting for the protection and development of the poor, marginalized and the vulnerable people in Zimbabwe.

On 21 August 2007, fifteen state security agents bombarded the home of Betty Makoni and arrested her for allegedly bringing in foreigners (the two American women) to cover Zimbabwean issues without state accreditation. In fact, the two women were actually documenting the experiences of Girl Child Network that enabled the organization to win a World Prize on Child Rights for Zimbabwe.

The two women were consequently arrested and detained at Harare Central Police Station together with Betty Makoni. She was released on 23 August 2007 without charge. The two American women, who were later released on the same date, were forced to change their flights and return to America. They have since left the country.

Such unwarranted arrests stifle operations of non-governmental organizations. NANGO therefore calls upon the Government of Zimbabwe to create a conducive environment for NGOs to operate effectively.

Visit the NANGO fact sheet

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