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Crisis Report Issue 166
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition
March 22, 2013

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Protesters Demand Justice for Mtetwa

Dozens of protesters gathered, sang and raised emblazoned banners at the Magistrate Court in Harare demanding justice for the incarcerated human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa on Friday, March 22, 2013.

The Magistrates court on Wednesday denied Mtetwa bail and remanded her in custody to April 3, while on Friday the High Court postponed her bail application hearing to Monday 25, March 2013.

The protesters who staged a lunchtime demonstration called for justice to be upheld in the matter where the human rights de-fender is being accused of obstructing the course of justice.

Mtetwa quarreled with Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) details that searched the house of her client Thabani Mpofu – the Prime Minister’s Legal Advisor – on Sunday without exhibiting a search warrant, leading to her arrest.

The peaceful protesters were dispersed by a police officer, who emerged with a few colleagues from the building and started manhandling the protesters, attempting to take away the banners which read: “Free Beatrice Mtetwa now” and “What you are doing is unconstitutional and illegal”.

In a sign that there is growing solidarity for the human rights defender, the High Court was packed to the brim earlier in the morning.

The protesters vowed to continue with solidarity actions if the courts continue to act in a manner that is deemed to be partisan and unprofessional.

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