Thursday, May 17, 2007

Targeting lawyers

Washington - The government of Zimbabwe has intensified its crackdown on lawyers through a wave of criminal prosecutions, beatings and arrests. The latest target of the government's crackdown was criminal lawyer Jonathan Samkange, who police arrested Monday night on charges of violating a section of the Immigration Act. However, police dropped all charges against Samkange Tuesday evening, without explanation, and returned the Z$5 million he had been charged as bail. ....

Earlier, police spokesman Superintendent Andrew Phiri had told Studio 7 that they were investigating allegations that Samkange had flown an unidentified witness into Zimbabwe to testify in Mann's hearing, under false pretext that he was a personal friend. The president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe Beatrice Mtetwa, said Samkange disputed the allegations, saying the unidentified witness, who had allegedly been tortured by authorities in Equatorial Guinea some time back, had come to assess the situation before agreeing to be a witness in Mann’s hearing..

Elsewhere in Zimbabwe, on Tuesday, Mutare police briefly detained about 10 lawyers protesting the continued harassment and arrests of fellow legal practitioners by the police. The lawyers had been marching to the provincial governor's office to hand him a petition when they were detained. Political analyst and human rights activists have warned that these intimidations may escalate as Harare draws closer to the the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2008.

1 comment:

USpace said...

Good piece, when they take the lawyers away what else can be done? This is a very sad situation on so many levels. Africa should have stood up to the West by condemning Mugabe even LOUDER than the West, but no...

absurd thought -
God of the Universe thinks
don't debate your critics

break into their homes at night
take them away forever

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