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  • Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign

  • Continued harassment of assaulted MDC members
    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
    March 17, 2007

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    Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) wishes to express its concern and condemn the continued harassment by State agents of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) members who were severely assaulted by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police on 11 March 2007.

    On 17 March 2007 two MDC members, Grace Kwinje and Sekai Holland were stopped by two officers from CID Law and Order, Harare Central Police Station from leaving the country for South Africa to seek further medical treatment. The two were coming from the Avenue's Clinic in Harare where they had spent four days receiving medical attention after their brutal assault. They were in the company of ZLHR lawyer Tafadzwa Mugabe and medical personal from MARS who was accompanying them to South Africa at the time of their being confronted by the police details.

    Detectives Shoko and Linachi stooped on Ms. Grace Kwinje and Mrs. Sekai Holland as they were about to board the plane to South Africa. The police details demanded that they produce a letter from the Ministry of Health allowing them to go to South Africa for medication. The two activists missed their flight and were forcibly taken to Harare Central Police Station. Their lawyer Tafadzwa Mugabe followed them to Harare Central Police Station where Assistant Commissioner Mabunda confiscated the passports of the two ladies, while simultaneously threatening their lawyer, Mr. Mugabe, with arrest for challenging the legality of confiscation of his clients' passports. Assistant Commissioner Mabunda has developed notoriety for harassing lawyers and defying court orders while persecuting perceived political opponents.

    Ms. Grace Kwinje and Mrs. Sekai Holland were later taken back to the Avenues Clinic.

    ZLHR strongly deplores such illegal and immoral action by the members of the Law and Order Section of the ZRP based at Harare central. ZLHR is unaware of any legal requirement for a letter from the Ministry of Health to allow one to seek medical treatment outside the country. Further, ZLHR is at loss as to the legal basis used by Assistant Commissioner Mabunda to confiscate the two MDC members' passports. Clearly the action by the police is illegal and unjustified and only adds insult to the injury inflicted upon the two ladies by the very same ZRP. Finally ZLHR is dismayed at the conduct of the police to continue to impede free access of clients to their lawyers as this seriously undermines the rule of law.

    The action by officers of the ZRP is a clear violation of the two ladies' right to freedom of movement, their right to health in seeking medical attention and treatment of their choice and indeed their right to preserve their lives. These rights are guaranteed in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the African Charter on Human and People's Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights.

    ZLHR calls upon the ZRP and state agents to immediately stop harassing members of the political opposition and specifically to release and return the passports of the two MDC members forthwith.

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