07/14/2020

Urgent Action Update: Tortured Activists Released on Bail (Zimbabwe: UA 84.20)


Three activists, Joana Mamombe, Cecelia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova who were abducted, sexually violated and tortured in May 2020, were released on bail following their appeal to the High Court. The activists were arrested on 10 June, a few days after being discharged from hospital. Adding to previous charges of breach of peace and violating lockdown regulations, the authorities accused them of lying about their torture and charged them with communicating or publishing false statement prejudicial to the state according Section 31 (a)(1)(iii) and defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in section 184(1)(f) of the Criminal Law Act.

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TAKE ACTION:

  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.
  2. Click here to let us know the actions you took on Urgent Action 84.20. It’s important to report because we share the total number with the officials we are trying to persuade and the people we are trying to help.
Hon Kazembe Kazembe
Minister of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage
Due to postal restrictions caused by COVID-19, please only send physical mail to the Embassy
Email: [email protected]
Ambassador Ammon M. Mutembwa
Embassy of Zimbabwe
1608 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Washington DC 20009
Phone: 202 332 7100 I Fax: 202 483 9326
Email: [email protected] [email protected]
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Minister Kazembe Kazembe,

Three  activists, Joana Mamombe, Cecelia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, abducted from state custody, sexually violated, tortured and hospitalized in May 2020, for leading a demonstration over the government’s failure to provide social protection for the poor during COVID 19 lockdown, were released on bail following their appeal to the High Court.

After being discharged from hospital, the activists were arrested again on 10 June 2020. Adding to previous charges of breach of peace and violating lockdown regulations, the authorities accused them of lying about their torture and charged them with communicating or publishing false statement prejudicial to the state and defeating or obstructing the course of justice as defined in the Criminal Law Act. Without any thorough investigation, the authorities have accused the women of faking their abduction and seeking Western sympathy.

I urge you to immediately drop the fabricated charges against the three activists; undertake a thorough, independent, impartial, transparent and effective investigation into their enforced disappearance from state custody and into all accounts of sexual assault and torture against them; and bring to justice those suspected to be responsible and ensure that the victims and their families have access to justice and effective remedies which include restitution, compensation, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition.

Yours sincerely,

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