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police arrest and detain a Media Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe
member and two project officers as the High Court denies Madzore
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
December 05, 2011
for Human Rights (ZLHR) advises of the recent attacks on the rights
to freedom of expression and assembly that occurred in Gwanda culminating
in the unwarranted arrest
and subsequent detention of two Project Officers from the Media
Monitoring Project of Zimbabwe (MMPZ) and a member of that organisation.
On 05 December 2011, at about 08:05 hours the two MMPZ employees
Fadzai December, Molly Chimhanda and MMPZ member Gilbert Mabusa
attended at Gwanda Police Station in the company of their ZLHR lawyer,
Kossam Ncube to 'answer questions'.
followed requests by Gwanda police officers on Tuesday 29 October
2011 that they visit Gwanda Police station for questioning relating
to a workshop conducted in the area on 24 November 2011. Police
then proceeded to question the trio after barring their ZLHR lawyer
from being present in the interview room, as has become custom despite
the fact that the three have a right to be represented by a lawyer
of their choice at all times in criminal proceedings as enshrined
in the Constitution
of Zimbabwe and the human rights instruments that Zimbabwe has voluntarily
officers led by one Detective Sergeant Sagune then recorded warned
and cautioned statements from the three in the presence of their
ZLHR lawyer. They are being charged with contravening section 25(1)(b)
of the Public
Order and Security Act (POSA), for allegedly 'participating
in a gathering without seeking authority from the regulating authority'
and also for allegedly contravening section 37(1)(b) of the Criminal
Law (Codification and Reform) Act, by 'distributing material
that is likely to provoke a breach of peace'.
The ZLHR lawyer
was advised that the trio will be taken to court on 06 December
2011, or 07 December 2011. ZLHR will provide updates on progress
in this matter.
Harare High Court on 5 December 2011 denied
Solomon Madzore's bail application based on changed circumstances
that had been filed by defence ZLHR member lawyer Gift Mtisi. In
his bail application Mtisi contended that there were facts that
constituted changed circumstances as Madzore had never been on the
run as previously indicated by the prosecutor relying on the information
that had been provided to the court in the initial bail application.
Mtisi indicated that Madzore was never on the run as he continued
to attend and address political rallies.
Zimba Dube proceeded to dismiss the application on the basis that
the information on which the lawyer based his application did not
constitute changed circumstances, as the information was available
to Madzore at the time of his initial bail application.
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