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University student leaders arrested
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
March 16, 2004

On Monday 15 March 2004, about 1000 students at the higher tertiary institute peacefully assembled for purposes of airing their views in respect of the deadlock between the university staff and the ministry of education. This was by prior arrangement with the University of Zimbabwe administration.

The university security guards had surrounded the student leaders and refused them access to the University vice-chancellorís office. The security guards ordered the student leaders to disperse their fellow students. The students refused to comply as they were exercising their rights of expression, assembly and association in a peaceful manner. Thereafter the guards fired a teargas canister into the midst of the students and assaulted some students. In the ensuing melee and the choking smoke, security guard apprehended Roderick Fayayo the Secretary General of the student leadership who did not runaway as the protest was peaceful.

They also apprehended 5 other studentsí namely Tafadzwa Mugabe, Simbarashe Machiridza, Obert Mbuzini, Pasttense Tarondwa, Philani Zamchiya (president of the Zimbabwe National Students Union ZINASU). The security guards detained the student for several hours until they were conveyed to Avondale police station where police preferred charges of public violence under common law.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights is gravely concerned at the increase of cases of human rights violations against human rights defenders. Sadly there has been a marked increase in the cases of arbitrary arrests, detention and other forms of harassment of human rights defenders and this is not acceptable in a democratic state. The government of Zimbabwe is encouraged to preach and practice tolerance and divergence in society.

Visit the ZLHR fact sheet

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