Re: Jennifer Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu, Emily Mpofu and Maria Moyo
To: President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert G. Mugabe and others
From: Charles B. Davison
I am writing concerning Jennifer Williams, Magodonga Mahlangu, Emily Mpofu and Maria Moyo, who, along with about 180 other persons, were arrested in Bulawayo on February 13, 2006 after they ended a peaceful demonstration against human rights violations. Mr. Tafadzwa Mugabe, a lawyer with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, was harassed and abused before being arrested and taken with his clients in trucks to the Harare Central police station.
As you know from my past letters, I am writing as a member and on behalf of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, which is an organization concerned with the violation and infringement of the rights of all human rights defenders around the world. We are extremely disturbed by the reports of February 13, 2006 that reveal harassment, abuse, arrest and detention of persons who have as their aim and goal to legally defend the rights of others.
We call upon you to immediately and unconditionally release all those arrested. If proper criminal charges are laid, we call upon you to ensure that any trials which are conducted be fair and held before impartial tribunals. We call for the end of all harassment and intimidation of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe, and in particular for you to ensure that the physical and psychological integrity of all persons detained, including those listed above. Finally, we call upon you to ensure that Zimbabwe follows and obeys the obligations which are upon it under international law, including that described in Article 12.2 of the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, to ensure the protection of all those who seek to protect and advance the rights and liberties of their fellow citizens.