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National human rights defenders project - Alert No. 1
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
September 18, 2007

The Rapid Reaction Unit (RRU) of the National Human Rights Defenders Project remains on high alert in light of the impending ZCTU stay away and the resultant state repression and intimidation that is currently obtaining. The Zimbabwe Republic Police and their intelligence counterparts have mounted pre-emptive strikes meant to paralyse and disorient the ZCTU ahead of the planned stay away by targeting their organizers and office bearers in various provinces.

Below are the incidences reported so far:-

In Gweru one Isaac Teveteve, the Gweru Branch Secretary of the ZCTU, has been picked up by the police and detained today, 18 September 2007. ZLHR has deployed Mr Garikayi to handle the matter. We have been informed that the police have denied him access to his client. ZLHR is currently pursuing efforts to secure his release.

In Bulawayo today two ZCTU secretariat members, Mr Reason Ngwenya and Mr Ambrose Sibindi, were also picked up whilst one Mcijo is still being pursued by the police and intelligence operatives. ZLHR has since deployed a lawyer to attend to this case.

In a related operation today early in the morning Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) member, Magodonga Mahlangu, was picked up by the police. The RRU has deployed its member, Mr Kossam Ncube, to handle the case.

At least two incidents of attacks on ZCTU office bearers, including the National Organizer, have been reported in Harare. At least three individuals were detained initially in Mbare and have since been moved to Harare Central police station. Lawyers have not been able to take instructions, but it is believed that the three were assaulted before being detained. ZLHR lawyers are in the process of confirming reports and responding to the distress calls. Further updates will be availed in the next Alert.

Visit the ZLHR fact sheet

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