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Zimbabwe: Suppression of freedom of expression and association
International Bar Association (IBA)
February 23, 2007

The International Bar Association (IBA)’s Human Rights Institute today condemned the three-month ban on political rallies and protests imposed by the Government of Zimbabwe on Mbare and Harare South.  The ban was issued under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) following recent violent clashes between protesters and the police.

The IBA is extremely concerned about the ban, which breaches the right to freedom of assembly protected by international and regional human rights law and the Constitution of Zimbabwe.  The IBA also has doubts about the Constitutional validity of the POSA, which enables the Government of Zimbabwe to undermine the right to freedom of assembly by prohibiting or restricting legitimate protests. Further, the IBA notes that the three-month ban exceeds the one-month limit imposed by the POSA. 

The Government of Zimbabwe has again undermined the guarantees of human rights and the rule of law by preventing the  citizens of Zimbabwe from exercising their fundamental right to free assembly’, stated Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association.  ‘The Mugabe Government’s breaches of international human rights law and complete disregard for the rights enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe continue to escalate.’ 


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