Regular harassment of activists, violations of their rights

Zimbabwean citizens’ enjoyment of freedom of expression and association remains extensively curtailed. Widespread national, regional and international calls for the Zimbabwe Government to respect these freedoms and protect them through their law enforcement arm, the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), have evidently been unfruitful.

The apparent attempt by the Zimbabwe Government to restrict the right to freedom of expression and association has manifested itself in the continuous harassment of human and labour rights activists through arrests whenever they attempt to peacefully demonstrate. The frequent arrest of National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) Chairman Dr Lovemore Madhuku and other NCA members, in particular, appears to have become a regular form of harassment.

Sections of the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) and the Miscellaneous Offences Act (MOA) are being continuously used to impede freedom of expression, movement and association. This was clearly manifested in the arrest of over 170 members of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) on 8 October 2003 demonstrating over high taxation and violations of trade union and human rights.

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