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human rights defenders project - Alert No. 3
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
September 19, 2007
Our Rapid Reaction
Unit (RRU) of the National Human Rights Defenders Project is working
flat out to respond to distress calls by human rights defenders
and seek relief for those in detention. Below is an update of the
situation obtaining at present:-
were once again denied access at Law and Order to see the four detained
Human Rights Defenders. Over and above the four people picked up
yesterday, the police have also abducted and detained the brother
of Mr Lovemore Matombo, the President of the ZCTU,
his security guard, and an assistant, Mr Tonderai Ndira. ZLHR is
reliably informed that they are being coerced to reveal the whereabouts
of Mr Matombo. ZLHR, through the Rapid Reaction Unit, have filed
an Urgent High Court application to seek their release. The urgent
application for Michael Kandukuta and four others arrested on Monday
in the Workington area which was set down for 2:30pm today before
Justice Musakwa was cancelled after the police took the HRDs to
court where bail was granted and they were remanded to 3 October
another ZCTU official, has just been picked up and he has joined
the detained official, Mr Teveteve, at Gweru Central police station,
Law and Order section. No charges have been preferred as yet against
them but the police continue to hold them saying that they are not
under arrest but are 'assisting' the police with information.
All the arrested
persons in Bulawayo were released late last night and today but
they were asked to come back to the police station today. They were
released after they had signed warned and cautioned statements.
Allegations laid against them include malicious damage to property
for allegedly spray painting (graffiti) on walls and buildings.
ZLHR lawyer, Kossam Ncube, has since accompanied them to the police.
They were told that the police would proceed by way of summons.
Reaction Unit today responded to the arrest of two University
of Zimbabwe students who were being detained at Avondale Police
Station. ZLHR Lawyers attended at Avondale Police Station to represent
Lovemore Chinoputsa and Fortune Chamba. Information to hand shows
that the two were arrested yesterday at around 14:00hrs after delivering
speeches at the University student gathering during which they highlighted
concerns over the accommodation crisis created by the University
denying accommodation to all students. They highlighted the high
tuition fees which most students could not afford and the general
hardships the student were facing as a result of maladministration
by the University authorities. After their speeches, the two were
apprehended by the University's security guards who assaulted them
with clenched fists and baton sticks. The assaults were directed
by the head of security, Mr Tarambiwa, with one officer named Mudzingwere
being identified as an assailant. After they were assaulted and
interrogated by University security agents and intelligence operatives,
they were accused of working with the ZCTU and taken to Avondale
Police Station where they were detained.
The students were later transferred to the CID Law & Order section
at Harare Central Police Station where they remain at present. ZLHR
lawyers are in the process of following up and seeking their release
or to have them taken to court as soon as possible by way of a further
Urgent Chamber Application to the High Court.
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