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Strikes and Protests 2007- Save Zimbabwe Campaign
lawyers barred from entering police station
March 23, 2007
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Lawyers representing freelance photojournalist Tsvangirai Mukwazhi
were on 22 March 2007 barred from entering Machipisa Police station
in Harare’s suburb of Highfield to secure the release of equipment
and a vehicle that the police impounded from the journalist almost
two weeks ago.
Legal Officer Wilbert Mandinde who was accompanied by a lawyer from
the Law Society of Zimbabwe said they were refused entry into the
police station by armed police officers despite stating the purpose
of their visit and enquiries.
not even given the chance to explain the reason for our visit by
the two heavily armed police officers who were manning the entrance
to the police station who told us to lodge our complaint with the
Law and Order Maintenance Section at Harare Central Police Station
in the city center," said Mandinde.
now filing for an urgent High Court order to secure the release
of the vehicle and equipment."
The police impounded
the vehicle, a Mitsubishi Pajero, laptop computer and a digital
camera on 11 March 2007 when they arrested Mukwazhi together with
leaders of opposition parties and civic society organisations in
Highfield ahead of a planned national day of prayer organised under
the auspices of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign that had been scheduled
for Zimbabwe Grounds in the same suburb.
the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights’ Special Rapporteur
on Freedom of Expression who met Mukwazhi in Harare on 16 March
2007, has since written
to President Robert Mugabe protesting the arrest and assault of
the two journalists.
Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression personally inspected
the the serious injuries sustained by Mukwazhi on his back following
the assaults while in police custody.
Tendai Musiyazviriyo, a film producer who both freelance for Associated
Press, were arrested on the same day with opposition MDC leader
Morgan Tsvangirai, MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti, Authur Mutambara
leader of the other MDC faction, legislator Job Sikhala, Dr Lovemore
Madhuku, the chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly
and Grace Kwinje, William Bango and Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai
They were admitted
to hospital for treatment following the severe assaults by the police
following their arrests and subsequent release without charges.
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