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Commission for Human and Peoples Rights accept WOZA case
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA)
November 19, 2013
Women of Zimbabwe Arise
(WOZA) has received formal notification from the African Commission
on Human and People’s Rights (ACHPR) that a recent communication,
outlining continued human rights abuses perpetrated against WOZA
members, was accepted during the 14th Extraordinary Session held
from July 20–24, 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya. By accepting the
communication, the ACHPR requests that the Zimbabwean government
respond to the rights violations included in the document.
number 446/13 was taken by Jennifer Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu,
and WOZA against the Republic of Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe
Lawyer’s for Human Rights (ZLHR) and the Washington-based
Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center)
now have 60 days to argue for admissibility of the case.
The nature of
the complaint is that the Republic of Zimbabwe – which ratified
the African Charter
on Human and People’s Rights on May 30, 1986 – has
routinely violated WOZA’s right to peaceful protest and assembly.
The communication, which was initially submitted in April 2013,
documents a lengthy series of arrests, beatings, arbitrary detentions,
and general physical harassment of WOZA members for over a decade
between 2003 and 2013.
Formed in 2002, WOZA
is a mass civic movement with a countrywide membership of approximately
85,000 citizens. WOZA lobbies and advocates on issues pertaining
to women and their families in Zimbabwe and participates in a range
of peaceful campaigns, both locally and internationally. WOZA's
principal aim is to mobilise Zimbabweans, particularly women, to
demand social justice and educates its members about their rights
and freedoms and encourages them to fully participate in important
civic processes. WOZA conducts civic education programmes and teaches
its members nonviolent ways to advance and protect their basic human
the WOZA fact
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