The Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum condemns in the strongest possible terms the palpably unprofessional manner in which the police have handled the investigations of the alleged breach of Section 15 of the Public Order and Security Act by Dr Frances Lovemore of Amani Trust.
While acknowledging and respecting the commissioned duty of police to investigate and then arrest any suspect for the commission of any offence it deeply concerns us that it would appear that Dr. Lovemore was arrested as part of police investigations. The charge put to Dr. Lovemore is clearly deficient as far as it fails to disclose on which website the alleged offending article was cast. The police have failed, refused, or neglected to furnish the defence lawyer with a transcript of the alleged statement ascribed to Dr Lovemore. Dr. Lovemore has dissociated herself from the statement.
We are further outraged by allegations last night, that the police deliberately gave the impression that Dr Lovemore had disappeared in an attempt to deny her access to her lawyer who was frantically lodging an urgent application for her release. She was later found at Warren Park Police Station. We are advised that some senior police officers attempted to evade service of the urgent application in a futile move designed to subvert the course of justice. We find the alleged conduct of the police dishonourable and deserving of censure.
We are also alarmed by the fact that the alleged refusal by the police to advise the defence lawyer of the whereabouts of her client might have been designed to exert undue pressure and influence on her in an attempt to extract a confession.