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 Amnesty International

2nd September 2022, 16:25:30 UTC

Opposition activists Joanah Mamombe, Cecillia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova, were arrested on 13 May 2020 for leading an anti-government protest over the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread hunger in the country. On the same day, they were forcibly disappeared from police custody. During their abduction they were sexually assaulted and tortured.

Jailing protesters and organisers is a tactic of governments who are afraid of people’s power, intended to silence dissent and instil fear in the population to deter them from joining further protests.

Everyone has the right to protest. Everyone has the right to physical integrity and life.

To date, no one has been held accountable for the enforced disappearance, torture and other-ill-treatment, including sexual violence, that the three activists were subjected to. Instead, numerous criminal charges have been levelled against them. Criminal on charges against Joanah Mamombe and Cecillia Chimbiri of fabricating falsehoods prejudicial to the state claiming they faked their abduction were dropped but the trial on the charges of violating Covid 19 lockdown rules was postponed indefinitely.

Call on the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe to immediately drop all the charges against Joanah Mamombe, Cecillia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova and bring the perpetrators of the enforced disappearance, torture and other-ill-treatment of the three activists to account.

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