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This article participates on the following special index pages:
Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles
at continued detention of human rights activist
July 02, 2010
calls on the government of Zimbabwe to immediately and unconditionally
release detained human rights defender, Farai Maguwu. He has been
in custody since 3 June 2010, when he presented himself to the police
and was arrested on allegations of "publishing or communication
false information prejudicial to the state."
Today, a Harare
Magistrate denied Maguwu bail following state submissions that more
time was needed to continue with investigations. Maguwu's
bail application was repeatedly postponed before being heard by
the court. Maguwu's lawyers believe that the state is delaying
the release of their client as a way of punishment for exposing
human rights violations by security forces in Zimbabwe's diamond
fields in Marange (Manicaland province).
On 1 July a
police inspector told the court that he had failed to interview
Abbey Chikane, the Kimberly Process (KP) Zimbabwe monitor, who is
a key state witness in the case against Maguwu.
lawyers are appealing the court's decision.
is concerned about the manner, in which the KP monitor Abbey Chikane,
conducted his fact finding mission. Of particular concern is that
Chikane held a meeting with Maguwu, a human rights defender documenting
human rights violations by the security forces, in the presence
of state security agencies. Amnesty International believes that
such conduct seriously compromised Farai Maguwu's safety.
Chikane confirmed that when he met with Maguwu he was in the company
of state intelligence officers.
Maguwu is being
charged with publishing or communicating false information prejudicial
to the state under Section 31 of the
Criminal Law (Reform and Codification) Act. If convicted he
faces up to 20 years imprisonment. Amnesty International considers
Maguwu a prisoner of conscience.
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