UN petitioned to investigate the arrest and detention of Pastor Evan Mawarire

Geneva-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF) last week submitted a request to the United Nations (UN) to investigate the arrest and detention  #ThisFlag movement founder, Pastor Evan Mawarire on his return to Zimbabwe last month.

The request was submitted during high-level meetings with representatives from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD), and the UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders. HRF president, Thor Halvorssen confirmed that his organisation had submitted a request and said:

Evan Mawarire is one of the most prominent figures of Zimbabwe’s beleaguered civil society. He has, at great personal risk, challenged (President) Robert Mugabe’s authoritarian regime through non-violent resistance. We have requested that the UNWGAD issue an opinion declaring Mawarire’s arbitrary detention measures are in violation of international law.

Roberto González, international legal associate at HRF, said the bail conditions were meant to stifle freedom of expression. He urgedthe UNWGAD to declare that Zimbabwe has failed to observe its international obligations under Articles 19, 21, and 22 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Mawarire is expected to speak at the 2017 HRF-organised Oslo Freedom Forum, in May.

More: NewsDay

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