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.
Call on the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe to immediately drop all the charges against Joanah Mamombe, Cecillia Chimbiri and Netsai Marova.