08/05/2019

Urgent Action Update: Activists Released on Bail, Awaiting Trial (Zimbabwe: UA 76.19)


The trial of seven activists, charged with treason for attending a training in the Maldives, has yet to begin due to the authorities’ lack of preparedness. The activists have appeared in court three times and the next court date is on 1 August. The activists were released between 7 and 10 June on bail of ZWL$1000 each and on condition that they report to the police station every day.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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President Emmerson Mnangagwa
President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
Munhumutapa Building
Cnr Samora Machel Avenue and Sam Nujoma
Private Bag 7700
Causeway, Harare
Zimbabwe
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Ammon. M. Mutembwa
1608 New Hampshire Ave
Washington DC 20009
Phone: 202-332-7100 I Fax: 202-483-9326
Email: [email protected]

Your Excellency President Mnangagwa,

I write to you to express serious concern over the treason charges levelled against seven activists George Makoni, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Gamuchirai Mukura, Nyasha Mpahlo, Farirai Gumbonzvanda, Sitabile Dewa and Rita Nyamupinga simply for attending a training organised by the Center for Non-Violence Action and Strategies (CANVAS) in Maldives from 15 to 17 May.

The seven activists were arrested in May on arrival back into the country, detained and charged with ‘subverting a constitutional government’ under Section 22 (2) of Criminal Law (Codification and Reform Act) which attracts a sentence of more than 20 years in prison. They were released between 7 and 10 June on bail of ZWL$1000 each and on condition that they report to the police station every day.

They have appeared in court for trial three times, on 12 July, 19 July and 25 July. In all appearances, their case has been postponed due to the authorities’ lack of preparedness. The next court date is set for 1 August.

The activists should never have been charged in the first place since attending a training on non-violent activism is not a crime. Their trial is part of a disturbing trend by your government to intimidate and harass activists.

I call on you to ensure the charges against the seven activists are dropped immediately and unconditionally; ensure an end to the crackdown on human rights defenders and activists and judicial persecution of human rights defenders, activists and opposition members; ensure respect for the rights to freedom of association, peaceful assembly and expression as enshrined in the Constitution and human rights treaties to which Zimbabwe is a state party.

Yours sincerely,

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