Lawyers outraged after Zim authorities detain human rights campaigners

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Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have expressed outrage after authorities on Monday arrested four human rights campaigners upon their return to the country and confiscated their laptops and mobile phones.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have expressed outrage after authorities on Monday arrested four human rights campaigners upon their return to the country and confiscated their laptops and mobile phones.

The lawyers say they only had access to their clients at Harare Central Police Station after nearly five hours from the time the human rights campaigners were in incommunicado  detention at the airport.

ZLHR say they were further incensed after Police officers “only waved a search warrant in the lawyers’ faces without giving them access to the document”.

“Government must stop criminalising the work of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe. Human rights work is not a crime,” ZLHR said.

The four human rights campaigners namely George Makoni aged 38 years, Tatenda Mombeyarara aged 37 years, Gamuchirai Mukura aged 31 years and Nyasha Mpahlo aged 35 years were detained upon disembarking from a plane at Robert Mugabe International Airport on Monday and held for several hours without communication with their lawyers after authorities confiscated their mobile phone handsets and laptops.

ZLHR said authorities refused to allow lawyers representing the four human rights activists access to their clients.

“The lawyers Roselyn Hanzi, Tinomuda Shoko and Godfrey Mupanga from Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights only had access to their clients at Harare Central Police Station after nearly five hours from the time the human rights campaigners were in incommunicado detention at the airport,” ZLHR said.

“At Harare Central Police Station, Zimbabwe Republic Police officers only waved a search warrant in the lawyers’ faces without giving them access to the document.”

No charges have been preferred yet against the four human rights campaigners.

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