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  • Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign

  • International Bar Association (IBA) deplores police attacks on protesters
    International Bar Association (IBA)
    March 12, 2007

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    The International Bar Association (IBA)'s Human Rights Institute today expressed shock and dismay in response to the brutal police action on protesters in Zimbabwe, which resulted in one death and arrests of more than 100 opposition members over the weekend.

    Following a three-month ban on political rallies and protests recently imposed by the Government of Zimbabwe, police responded violently to a public gathering held in Highfield on Sunday. The police reportedly fired on protesters resulting in the death of Gift Tandare, a member of the Movement for Democratic Change, and injuring many others. The leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, Morgan Tsvangirai, and other activists were arrested.

    The IBA is extremely concerned about reports that Mr Tsvangirai and other opposition leaders have been beaten by police and are being held without access to their lawyers. It is not clear yet whether Mr Tsvangirai and the other detainees have been allowed access to medical care.

    The IBA is opposed to any form of police brutality and torture, and calls on the Zimbabwe Government to take immediate action to investigate these serious allegations and to make accountable those responsible. The IBA continues to oppose the ban on protests, which breaches international and regional human rights law and the Constitution of Zimbabwe. The IBA also condemns any denial of detainees' rights of access to lawyers, and calls for the activists to be charged legitimately or released immediately.

    The IBA further calls for a public inquiry into the police force's response to the meeting in Highfield and the constitutionality of the three-month ban on public rallies.

    'The Government of Zimbabwe continues to disregard its obligations to protect the human rights of its citizens', Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association stated. 'Action must be taken to hold those state agents, of all levels, responsible for crimes committed against persons legitimately exercising their fundamental right to free assembly.'

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