GALZ Statement On The Attacks Of Itai Dzamara And Kennedy Masiye

GL-3

GALZ condemns the brutal attack of Journalist Itai Dzamara and nine other demonstrators following their Occupy Africa Unity Square demonstration in Harare on Thursday and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights projects lawyer Kennedy Masiye who was also severely assaulted by police officers at Africa Unity Square while representing the protestors. It is deplorable that Zimbabwe continues on this path of routinely beating protestors.

According to the ZLHR, police threw away Masiye’s practice card, stating: “We do not care about such things”. Such reckless statements coming from the Police serve to prove that, the Zimbabwe Republic Police has clearly shown a lack of respect for the role of lawyers in the structure of democratic society. The attack on the lawyer and the protestors he represented is yet another indication that Government is unwilling to comply with Zimbabwe’s constitutional, regional and international law obligations.

Despite a new constitution that promotes human rights, we witness yet again a failure by Government to commit to ending excesses by the State that have caused so much damage to the fundamental fabric of what could and should be a peaceful, and democratic Zimbabwe

We call on the Government to ensure that lawyers are able to perform all of their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance, harassment or improper interference. Such Actions reflect badly on Zimbabwe that currently holds the SADC chair

Government should ensure that lawyers are properly protected in compliance with its constitutional, regional and international law obligations. // ENDS