Aids activist arrested at Copac conference

HARARE - AIDS activists Douglas Muzanenhamo was arrested by police on Monday for distributing constitutional material at the just-ended Constitution Select Committee (Copac)’s Second All-Stakeholders’ Conference, according to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

In a statement last night, ZLHR said the arrest took place after some delegates at the conference asked Muzanenhamo for copies of a publication containing amendments to the Copac draft constitution.

The publication was prepared by trade unionists, constitutional reform activists, women’s organisations, students and HIV/Aids activists earlier this month under the “Working People’s Constitutional Convention”.

Muzanenhamo was immediately taken into custody and the police intend to charge him with inciting public violence.

In September 2012, Muzanenhamo filed a landmark case in the Supreme Court challenging the denial of anti-retroviral drugs to suspects in police cells.

His case was based on the horrendous treatment he received when he was arrested in February 2011 and charged with treason together with 45 other human rights activists including University of Zimbabwe lecturer Munyaradzi Gwisai, where he was denied his medication.

ZLHR lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara, who is representing Muzanenhamo, is working towards his release and making contingency arrangements to ensure that he is not denied his medication once again as happened in 2011.

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