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Monitor Issue 98
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
June 20, 2011
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game on: WOZA
often brutalised women activists are taking their campaign
against repression and poor service delivery by public utilities
such as the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA) a gear
arrests, imprisonment and lately the invasion
of property, the women activists say they are pushing for more
non-violent protests until their demands are heard.
In a multi-pronged strategy, the Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
says it will intensify street protests as well as launch a passionate
plea to families of ruthless police officers to talk to their relatives
out of brutality.
The organisation, which has over 75 000 members
countrywide, is also mobilising the international community to pressure
Zimbabwe over human rights abuses.
"WOZA calls on Zimbabweans to mobilise themselves
to non-violently demand respect for people will before it is too
late. Your mothers need your help," said the group, whose
members include elderly women.
direct action non-violent movement and mother of the nation we will
take action. We will not be silenced," the group said as police
officers refused to vacate a house used by WOZA as an office claiming
that they were searching firearms and subversive material. Police
escalated its war on WOZA when officers invaded a private residence
used by WOZA, demanding the "surrender" of the group's
The Bulawayo High Court on Friday reserved judgment on an application
brought by WOZA lawyer, Kossan Ncube of Kossam Ncube and Partners
Legal Practitioners, who is a board member of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights to force the officers to leave the
Declaring its intention to continue fighting, WOZA
appealed to those with police relatives to use their influence to
stop police brutality.
"WOZA calls on all police officers to refuse
to be used to carry out illegal acts in the name of political supremacy.
We call on their family members to prevail upon them to think carefully
about their future and personal sanity. There will be a time for
their action to be judged if not on this earth then in heaven,"
said the group.
Since the beginning
of the year, 38 WOZA members have been arbitrarily arrested and
24 detained and charged under the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act, the group said.
police harassment of WOZA human rights defenders provides leaders
of the South African Development Community (SADC) with direct proof
of the intransigence of the Mugabe regime and their refusal to respect
Political Agreement of which they are guarantors and prosecution
in the absence of any genuine suspicion of criminal activity needs
urgent addressing through security sector reform," said WOZA.
WOZA said it
was lobbying local, regional and international human rights defenders
to directly press their governments to put pressure through diplomatic
means to stop the persecution of human rights defenders, especially
women human rights defenders.
emphasis should be on their rights to peacefully hold their own
government to account by direct or indirect street engagement,"
the ZLHR fact
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