Home » Human Rights » Lawyers Say 1 400 Women Activists Arrested in Two Years

THE Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) says 1390 local women human rights defenders were arrested in the past 24 months.

ZLHR said the women activists were arrested for either staging street protests or petitioning and litigating government with the aim of pressing for political, social and economic rights.

Board Chairperson Beatrice Mtetwa said: “When these women were arrested they were trying to assert their rights as women first and foremost and as citizens of Zimbabwe”.

Speaking during the marking of the International Women’s Day which is due in two days Mthethwa said in some cases women were arrested together with their children.

Mthethwa bemoaned the continued harassment of such individuals at a time when the country had adopted a new constitution which guarantees women dignity and freedoms of expression and association.

Zimbabwe Peace Project National Director Jestina Mukoko said women activists were not enemies of the state.

“I do not know why the state thinks that we will be fighting against them. We do not intend to fight against the state but to remind them that we are people whose rights are being violated.

“But by just reminding them to recognize and respect people’s rights you will find yourself in jail,” Mukoko told NewZimbabwe.com in an interview on the side lines of the same event.

The Friday event also saw the launching of a book titled “In Their Capacity as Human Rights Defenders: Women”.

Both the ZLHR and the Peace Project are featured in the publication alongside many other organisations that are involved in women, community and children’s rights.

Source : New Zimbabwe