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ZESN staff and taskforce member arrested in Gweru
Zimbabwe Election Support Network
December 08, 2012

The Zimbabwe 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.

Visit the ZESN fact sheet

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