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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Index of articles on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe
appeal: Human Rights Lawyers under siege in Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
May 07, 2007
of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) requests your immediate
URGENT intervention in the following situation in Zimbabwe regarding
the unlawful arrest and continued detention of human rights lawyers
for Human Rights (ZLHR) notes with mounting outrage and consternation
the perpetual harassment of human rights Lawyers in Zimbabwe -
ZLHR is particularly concerned with the unlawful arrest and continued
detention of human rights lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and Andrew Makoni.
Background of the case
Wednesday 25 April: The wives of the two lawyers receive two anonymous
calls at two different occasions and the calls were both threatening
the families of the two lawyers saying that they were going to be
dealt with ruthlessly and that their husbands will meet the same
fate. Suspected Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operatives
began following the lawyers , keeping their distance and monitoring
Friday 4 May: The CIOs who were following the two lawyers, together
with police details from the Law and Order section approached the
two lawyers at around 16h30, outside the High Court during the course
of their business and arrested them. They were taken to the Law
and Order section at Harare Central police station "for interrogation"
but were not provided with reasons for their arrest. This time the
Zimbabwe intelligence seem to have handed them to the police. Lawyers
attending at the Law and Order section were able to confirm the
presence of the two lawyers but were chased out of the offices by
Detective Inspector Rangwani, who also threatened to physically
assault the lawyers in attendance.
An urgent application (HC 2346/07) was filed by ZLHR at the High
Court of Zimbabwe, and at around 21h30, Justice Tedius Karwi granted
a "temporary order" directing the police to allow lawyers
access to Makoni and Muchadehama and to allow them access to food,
medical attention if necessary, and visitation by their relatives,
pending the hearing of the matter the following day. Despite this,
the police defied the court order and denied access. Two court orders
to this effect have been disregarded to date. Efforts to locate
the lawyers have been futile for the past three days and the harassment
and threats to other human lawyers have continued with impunity.
strongly condemns the unlawful actions of the police in this matter.
Senior police officers at several stations, as well as the entire
Law and Order section, continue to remain a law unto themselves,
and impunity for their actions is further entrenched as each day
passes. Further, the continued contempt of court orders by the police
has become an everyday phenomenon and no person is safe from those
who are constitutionally obliged to protect the people of Zimbabwe.
Such actions cannot be tolerated or condoned in a democratic society.
ZLHR calls upon all human rights organizations, citizens of Zimbabwe,
Individuals beyond Zimbabwe, fellow human rights defenders, advocates
and friends of freedom to take action and write to the Zimbabwean
Government to restore rule of law.
write to the Zimbabwean authorities, urging them to:
release the two lawyers, Alec Muchadehama and Andrew Makoni
cease the molestation, use of threats, mental torture and interference
with privacy, family and home of Mr Muchadehama and Mr Makoni.
cease the use of intimidation against lawyers who are officials
of the court and should be allowed to carry out their duties without
- Respect the
rulings and judgments of the courts of Zimbabwe and cease the
current culture of ridicule towards such rulings and orders of
the High Court of Zimbabwe.
of Intelligence, Office of the President, Private Bag 7700, Causeway,
Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 708 211
- Mr. Khembo
Mohadi, Minister of Home Affairs, Ministry of Home Affairs, 11th
Floor Mukwati Building, Private Bag 7703, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe,
Fax : +263 4 726 716
- Mr. Patrick
Chinamasa, Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs,
Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Fax: + 263
4 77 29 99
- Mr. Augustine
Chihuri, Police Commissioner, Police Headquarters, P.O. Box 8807,
Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax : +263 4 253 212 / 728 768 / 726
- Mr. Sobuza
Gula Ndebele, Attorney-General, Office of the Attorney, PO Box
7714, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe, Fax: + 263 4 77 32 47
- Mrs. Chanetsa,
Office of the Ombudsman Fax: + 263 4 70 41 19
Mr. Chitsaka Chipaziwa, Permanent Mission of Zimbabwe to the United
Nations in Geneva, Chemin William Barbey 27, 1292 Chambésy,
Switzerland, Fax: + 41 22 758 30 44, Email: email@example.com
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