Behind the headlines

Once again the turbulence in Zimbabwe is making agenda-topping news. What a weekend it’s been.  The violence that broke out between Zanu-PF and MDC supporters at yesterday’s rally was enough for Morgan Tsvangirai to declare that he would no longer run in Friday’s election.  The Guardian reports that the MDC opposition leader said that he doesn’t want people to cast their vote knowing it can ‘cost them their lives’.

But the latest news now suggests that Tsvangirai is open to negotiation with ZANU-PF once the violence subsides…

Have a read of Laura D's reaction to last night's news.

Meanwhile the stories that aren’t making the headlines include ordinary people whose civil liberties are being squashed as they are being arrested and detained for daring to peacefully express their opinions. 

For example, the leaders of the dynamic grassroots organisation – WOZA (Women of Zimbabwe Arise) – Jenni and Magadonga are remanded in custody until 3 July, after taking part in a peaceful demonstration last month.

While these women are accustomed to being thrown into prison after taking part in peaceful demonstrations, this is the first time their bail has been denied and they have been imprisoned for such a long period of time.  Do take action to call for the immediate release of these women, as they’re being unfairly detained.

Meanwhile the President and Secretary-General of the Zimbabwean Congress of Trade Unions – Lovemore Matombo and Wellington Chibebe – are appearing in court today after they were arrested after taking part in a May Day demonstration. Amnesty believes that these men were arrested and charged solely for peacefully expressing their opinion and are calling on the courts in Zimbabwe to throw out these charges.

 Demonstrations are taking place as far away as New Zealand, and as close to home as The Strand in London. Check out pictures of the demo later on today.  You can add your support by adding your photo to a giant photo mosaic.

And finally, Amnesty’s got a new report out today on Tunisia’s record on torture and unfair trials.  The report details some shocking cases and mentions how one man was so badly tortured that afterwards he couldn’t recognise his own mother.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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