FULL TEXT: ZEN Calls Or Immediate End To Criminalisation Of Civil Society

The Zimbabwe Europe Network (ZEN) strongly condemns the continued criminalisation of Zimbabwean civil society by the Zimbabwean authorities.

In times of deep economic distress, there is a need for the government to ensure stability and the respect of basic rights for Zimbabwean citizens.

ZEN is deeply concerned that the crackdown against civil society, which accompanied the violence against Zimbabwean citizens in January, has not stopped and even intensified in recent weeks.

Of particular concern are the continued detention of Zimbabwean activists, the ongoing harassment and intimidation of civil society and their families by state security agents, and the human rights violations conducted in the process.

In addition, the added layers of scrutiny through surveillance and hardened legislation have created limited room for civil society to play their role as watchdogs, advocates and dialogue partners.

ZEN, therefore, calls upon the authorities to immediately stop the crackdown on Zimbabwean civil society and their families. In particular, any use of violence must end.

ZEN further joined widespread calls that the Zimbabweans authorities should drop the trumped-up charges against activists currently detained, and desist from using the highly criticized offence of ‘subverting a constitutional government’ to punish human rights defenders for the exercise of fundamental freedoms guaranteed under Zimbabwean law.

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