Opposition activists Joanah Mamombe, Cecillia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, were arrested on May, 13th 2020 for leading an anti-government protest over the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread hunger in the country. On the same day, they were forcibly disappeared from police custody. During their abduction they were sexually assaulted and tortured.
To date, no one has been held accountable for the enforced disappearance, torture and other-ill-treatment, including sexual violence, that the three activists were subjected to. Instead, numerous criminal charges have been levelled against them.
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe,
Office of the President, Munhumutapa Building,
Cnr Sam Nujoma and Samora Machel Avenue,
P.Bag 7700, Causeway
Fax : +263 242708 820/+263 242708 557
Email: [email protected]
Jailing protesters and organizers is a tactic of governments who are afraid of people’s power, intended to silence dissent and instill fear in the population to deter them from joining further protests. Everyone has the right to protest. Everyone has the right to physical integrity and life. Police must prioritize facilitation, communication, and de-escalation. There must be no discriminating police approaches. In particular, marginalized groups regularly affected by excessive use of force and discriminating policing practice must be able to protest without risk. This case specifically refers to unlawful use of force by the police, in this case sexual in nature, pointing to the additional risk of gender-based violence faced by women protestors. DOWNLOAD THE SAMPLE LETTER