Zimbabwe's Continuing Struggle for FreedomApril 18, 2012
April 18th is Zimbabwe National Day. This year, Zimbabwe will commemorate 32 years of independence from colonial rule. While today is a day to celebrate, freedom has its limits in Zimbabwe.
Specifically, the rights to freedom of expression and assembly are sharply curtailed by the government. In March, six people were convicted of “conspiracy to commit public violence.” Just how did they conspire? They gathered with others last year to watch video footage of the Arab Spring events in Egypt and Tunisia.
Other activists frequently face harassment, intimidation and persecution through the judicial system. Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu of Women of Zimbabwe Arise are currently on trial for specious charges of kidnapping and theft. Others in the past have experienced charges and trials for activities perceived threatening by the government. Jestina Mukoko of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, was abducted by security agents, tortured, and then tried on charges of treason.
These are only a few examples of political, human right and civil society activists who have faced harassment through the legal system in an attempt to silence their voice. Help us urge the Zimbabwe government to cease the use of politically motivated judicial prosecutions. Take action now!
If you live in the Mid-Atlantic US, please join us for Get On the Bus!, a day of activism on April 27th. We will visit the Zimbabwe embassy in Washington, DC to bring attention to these issues.