Activist Held for Exposing Violations in Diamond Fields of Zimbabwe

July 6, 2010

Over the long weekend we learned that human rights activist Farai Maguwu has been held by the Zimbabwean government for exposing human rights violations being committed by security forces in some of the country’s richest diamond fields.

Maguwu turned himself in to the police on June 3 after members of his family were beaten and interrogated by state officials.

He is being held under the charges of “publishing or communicating false information prejudicial to the state,” after he reportedly told a diamond trade monitor about human rights violations carried out by security forces in the Marange diamond fields.

On Friday, a Harare Magistrate denied Farai Maguwu bail after the state prosecutor said more time was needed to complete investigations.

We are calling on the Zimbabwean government to release Maguwu immediately.   Erwin van der Borght, Amnesty International’s Africa director, said, “Farai Maguwu is being persecuted for carrying out his lawful work of monitoring and documenting alleged human rights violations… We consider [him] to be a prisoner of conscience and call on the authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally.”

To help Amnesty’s efforts, take action and write to Johannes Tomana, Attorney General of Zimbabwe, on behalf of Farai Maguwu.