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Zimbabwe: persecution of tortured female opposition leaders continues as they are denied bail

Joana Mamombe Cecilia Chinembiri and Netsai Marova charged with falsifying their abduction and torture

‘The Zimbabwean authorities must end this travesty’ - Muleya Mwananyanda

In response to today’s court decision to deny bail for three female leaders from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change – Alliance (MDC-Alliance) and remand them in police custody, Muleya Mwananyanda, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Southern Africa, said:

“The continued arbitrary detention of Joana Mamombe, Cecilia Chinembiri and Netsai Marova amounts to persecution through prosecution and is designed to send a chilling message to anyone daring to challenge the Zimbabwean authorities.

“These women are victims of an escalating crackdown on the right to freedom of expression and the criminalisation of dissent.

“Instead of persecuting them, the Zimbabwean authorities should focus their efforts on holding those suspected to be responsible for their horrifying abduction, torture and sexual assault to account.

“The Zimbabwean authorities must end this travesty. The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Mamombe, Chinembiri and Marova, and stop their campaign of intimidation and harassment against opposition leaders and activists.”

Mamombe, Chinembiri and Marova

The three MDC-Alliance youth leaders, Joana Mamombe (MP for Harare West), Cecilia Chinembiri (MDC Alliance Youth Assembly Vice Chair) and Netsai Marova (Deputy Organising Secretary for Youth) were arrested and then disappeared, following their participation in a protest on 13 May. They were dropped in Bindura after they were subjected to sexual assault violence used as a method of torture.

They were re-arrested on 10 June 2020, charged with falsifying their abduction and torture. They have been remanded in prison until 26 June.




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