US condemns arrest of protest clergymen

HARARE - The United States yesterday said it was extremely concerned by the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe after the “unwarranted arrest” and continued detention of Evan Mawarire and the incarceration of Phillip Patrick Mugadza.        

“We fear these recent actions will further limit the right of Zimbabweans to exercise their Constitutionally-protected freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, which are similarly protected under Zimbabwe’s international human rights obligations, and are core values of any functioning democracy,” the embassy said in a statement.

The case of two activist clergymen, Mawarire and Mugadza — who are both languishing in prison for expressing dissenting views against President Robert Mugabe and his warring Zanu PF — has sent a chilling signal to any free thinkers in the church.

The US government called on the government to respect the rule of law and legal due process provided by the Constitution, the basic right to freedom of speech and to respect the human rights of all citizens enshrined in the charter.

“We believe that the basic right of Zimbabweans to freedom of speech — be it in public, through print media, or social media — should be protected within and outside Zimbabwe’s borders.”

Comments (1)

Instead of condemning arrest of Evan Mawarure and incarceration of? Phillip Patrick Mugadza, United States could go miles further than that in helping bring some form of normality in Zimbabwe. They could make a joint allignment with orher European countries, UK and SADC to assist Zimbababwe in the preparation for free and fair credible 2018 elections. Zimbabweans are sufferring under an uncaring ZANU-PF governance. Without such intervention as peace keeping force,? abuse of human rights is going to continue. We have witnessed a lot by now - police brutality against peaceful protesters, torture of opposing members to the current ruling party, unknown whereabouts of Itai Dzamara and many others. The basic right to freedom of speech - through any acceptable media form is next to? zero in Zimbabwe.Hope this request would be taken into consideration for implementation by the US and other countries who love to see Democracy being put in Zimbabwe soonest.

Pythias Makonese - 8 February 2017

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