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  • Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles

  • Shock at continued detention of human rights activist
    Amnesty International
    July 02, 2010

    Amnesty International 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.

    Maguwu's lawyers are appealing the court's decision.

    Amnesty International 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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