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ZESN staff and taskforce member arrested in Gweru
Election Support Network
December 08, 2012
Election Support Network (ZESN) member of staff Emma Chiseya and
taskforce member Lucy Chivasa were arrested by the police yesterday
in Gweru. The two, Chiseya the ZESN Public Outreach Manager and
Chivasa of the Legal
Resources Foundation were picked up at the Midlands Hotel at
1000hrs on allegations of conducting a meeting without notifying
the relevant authorities.
The two ZESN representatives are part of the initial group of 29
ZESN community educators who were participants in the workshop and
were also arrested. The other members of the group were later released
around 2000hrs while Chiseya and Chivasa were remanded in custody
at Gweru Central Police Station. Statements were recorded by the
police from the two and a docket was opened on charges of organising
an unlawful gathering and failing to notify the police of the gathering
which the police said to be in contravention of Section 24 of the
Public Order and
Security Act (POSA).
The two are being represented by Brian Dube of Gundu and Dube Legal
Practitioners a member of the Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
The workshop was a routine annual progress review for the year end
by the organization with its members. During the course of the year
ZESN managed to conduct a number of activities in a number of communities
under its "Vote in Peace campaign" hence the workshop
sought to share successes and challenges of the project during the
year under review.
ZESN is disturbed by this arrest which comes as the world is commemorating
the Human Rights Day whose theme is, "Inclusion and the right
to participate in public". The arrest is a direct violation
of the fundamental right to freedom of association.
ZESN is concerned with this continued targeting of human rights
activists who remain vulnerable to harassment and intimidation as
they conduct their activities.
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