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Hounded at home, honoured abroad: the story of Beatrice Mtetwa
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR)
October 09
, 2013

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) board chairperson, Beatrice Mtetwa, is constantly hounded by state security agents at home.

Just last Friday 4 October 2013, she returned to court where she is on trial on charges of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.

But abroad the formidable lawyer continues to receive accolades.

A recipient of numerous local, regional and international awards, Mtetwa will on Wednesday 9 October 2013 share her experiences with the world at the ongoing International Bar Association (IBA) annual conference in Boston, USA.

Dubbed “A conversation with Beatrice Mtetwa”, the discussion which commences at 1300 hours to 1415 hours will focus on the agonising experiences of the human rights lawyer whom the IBA has named as “the bravest of lawyers” in Africa.

The discussion will also celebrate her bravery and show support for a fellow legal professional operating in extremely trying circumstances and times. Mtetwa is accompanied by ZLHR executive director Irene Petras.

“She lives and works in Zimbabwe where despite unlawful detentions, and being beaten by the police in 2003 and 2007, she courageously defends imprisoned human rights advocates, journalists, and opposition candidates. She is the recipient of a host of awards in recognition of her defence of human rights, and is the only African, besides Nelson Mandela, to receive the Ludovic-Trarieux International Human Rights Prize from France. Ms Mtetwa is the former President of the Southern African Development Community Lawyers Association and a former President of the Law Society of Zimbabwe,” the organisers said.

Before the discussion, a documentary film by Boston Film and Video Productions about the ZLHR board chairperson’s life and work will be shown at the start of this Conversation with a question and answer session following the screening.

Established in 1947, the IBA is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies. Through its global membership of individual lawyers, law firms, bar associations and law societies it influences the development of international law reform and shapes the future of the legal profession throughout the world.

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