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Unsubstantiated charges against human rights defenders must be dropped

ActionAid Zimbabwe is calling for the unsubstantiated charges against seven human rights defenders arrested at Harare airport to be dropped.  

They were arrested at the end of May for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government through civil unrest. Despite the gravity of the charges, police did not conduct any investigation prior to making the arrests.  

George Makoni, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Frank Mpahlo, Farirayi Gumbonzvanda, Rita Nyamupinga, Gamuchirai Mukura and Stabile Dewa were returning home after attending training workshops on civic participation in the Maldives. Five of the activists have been granted bail, but two remain in prison. 

ActionAid is deeply concerned that a pattern of "arrest first and investigate later" is emerging as the crackdown on Zimbabwean human rights defenders and civil society organisations intensifies. 

The growing threat of arbitrary arrest and detention is resulting in the shrinking of civic space and stifling of citizens’ civil and political rights. This is putting progress on social justice and development at risk.  


For inquiries and further information kindly contact:

Joy Mabenge, Country Director, ActionAid Zimbabwe

Tel: +263 4 788122/3/5 | FCT: +263 772 164 448/9 | Mob: +263 772 904 479 E: | S: Joy. Mabenge