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This article participates on the following special index pages:

  • Index of articles on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe

  • South African progressive lawyers pledges solidarity with their Zimbabwean counterparts
    National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL)
    May 17, 2007

    Visit the special index page on the mistreatment of the legal profession in Zimbabwe

    There has been an increasing and intensifying crackdown on lawyers in Zimbabwe in the recent past through purported criminal prosecutions, beatings and arrests.

    The latest of these incidents being the arrest of a criminal lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, accused of violating a section of the Immigration Act and the detention of about 10 lawyers by the Mutare Police for protesting the continued harassment and arrest of fellow legal practitioners by the police.

    There is an increasing fear that this abuse shall escalate as the preparations for the presidential and parliamentary elections in March 2008 are getting underway.

    NADEL joins the international and regional community in condemning with the strongest possible term the collapse of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe and the turning of that country into a police state which is characterised by:

    • arbitrary arrest and detention
    • beatings and brutality against peaceful protests
    • total lack of political freedom for citizens and suppression of the right to freedom of expression.

    NADEL calls on:

    • The Zimbabwean Attorney-General to ensure that due processes of law are respected and followed in criminal arrests and prosecutions.
    • The Zimbabwean government respects the Rule of Law and ensure conducive conditions for the holding of free and fair elections and to agree to mediation by the South African President.
    • The South African government to officially and unequivocally condemn the abuse of human rights in Zimbabwe and to show decisive leadership in this regard; and
    • The South African Development Community and Pan African Community not to turn a blind eye on the atrocities taking place in Zimbabwe, to use whatever means possible to pressurise President Robert Mugabe's regime to cease the brutality against democratic forces for change in Zimbabwe.

    NADEL supports the initiatives by the SADC Lawyers Association to engage with counterparts in Zimbabwe to devise common strategies to deal with the onslaught against democratic forces and the undermining of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe.

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