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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
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
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.
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
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.
Visit the ZLHR
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