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End the persecution of civil society leaders in Zimbabwe

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As SADC leaders sought to find an expedient solution to the current political deadlock in Zimbabwe on Sunday, the climate for civil society in Zimbabwe has got increasingly worse. Dr. Lovemore Madhuku, National Chairperson of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), has been detained in advance of NCA’s planned demonstrations in five cities across Zimbabwe at 6 a.m. on the morning of 11 November 2008. The NCA emphatically condemns this unjustified obstruction of the organization’s peaceful protest actions. However, the NCA refuses to be intimidated by this illegitimate unwarranted aggression and remains committed to its campaign for democratic reform. Meanwhile, Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu, leaders of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), were detained in Bulawayo after their arrest on 16 October for leading 200 strong sit-in to demand food aid for the hungry and the immediate formation of a power sharing government. Williams and Mahlangu were eventually released on bail on 6th November but were back in court to face charges on 11th November. Please sign the petition to put an immediate end to the targeted persecution of civil society leaders in Zimbabwe. The petition will be sent to the Ministry of Justice in Zimbabwe and will be handed in to the Zimbabwe Embassy on Tuesday 18th November. Please forward this action to appropriate contacts. Your Excellency, I would like to express my deep concern at the arrest and detention of the leaders of National Constitutional Assembly (NCA), Dr. Lovemore Madhuku, and Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu. The arrest of these activists is in clear contradiction of the responsibilities of the Zimbabwean government to respect the right to free assembly and association as guaranteed in the constitution and international conventions to which Zimbabwe is party. I urge the Zimbabwean government and police to stop the arrest of human rights defenders and to stop the use of violence to deal with unarmed, peaceful protests. I urge the authorities to demonstrate respect the right to free assembly and association through the immediate release and dropping of all charges against Madhuku, Williams and Mahlangu. Signed:


Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) is the successor organisation to the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Since 1994 ACTSA has been campaigning with the people of southern Africa as they strive to build a better future, working for peace, democracy and development across the region. http://www.actsa.org


Zimbabwe News from ACTSA http://www.actsa.org/page-1024-Zimbabwe.html
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