ZEN condemns violence and arrests

Amsterdam, 9 September 2016

ZEN condemns violence and arrests

The Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) joins Zimbabwean civil society in expressing serious concerns about the increase in violence during demonstrations in recent weeks.

Of particular concern is the violent response of some elements within the Zimbabwe Republic Police in responding to these protests, and the decision of the Government to ban protests in the Harare Central Business District.

The freedom to demonstrate is guaranteed in the constitution, and citizens should be permitted to demonstrate peacefully to address genuine concerns.

ZEN therefore welcomes the ruling by the High Court, which declares the ban to demonstrate in Harare unconstitutional, thereby defending the constitution of Zimbabwe and the fundamental human rights of its citizens.

In light of this ruling and recent remarks by the President, ZEN endorses calls from Zimbabwean civil society for the Government not to interfere with the independence of the judiciary.

ZEN is very worried about the rise of arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders and those engaging in peaceful and lawful demonstrations. Fundamental human rights, the rule of law should be respected and the constitution should be upheld.