Re: Raymond Majongwe, Secretary General of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ)
To: Robert G. Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe; Sobuza Gula Ndebele, Attorney-General, Zimbabwe
From: Charles B. Davison LRWC
I am writing concerning the case of Mr. Raymond Majongwe, whom I understand to be the Secretary General of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe. I understand that on February 5, 2007, a number of soldiers appeared in front of Mr. Majongwe’s home, where they remained for 20 minutes with bright lights aimed at his house. A few days earlier, on February 1, 2007, police officers stormed into Mr. Majongwe’s house and harassed his wife, demanding that her husband report to the Harare Central Police Station on February 5. Mr. Majongwe did so but the soldiers appeared nonetheless on February 5 as described above.
We are extremely concerned about this series of events, because Mr. Majongwe has in the past been arrested, detained, beaten and prosecuted (although never successfully) on a number of occasions for his activities in engaging in peaceful protests for workers’ rights and democracy in Zimbabwe. Other teachers and PTUZ members were also arrested in early February 2007 for their conduct in relation to peaceful protests for better working conditions and salaries.
I am writing as a member and on behalf of Lawyers Rights Watch Canada. We are 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 harassment of and threats against individuals who seek to exercise their rights as recognized under international law, to peacefully criticize and oppose the policies and decisions of their governments and political parties.
We call upon you to guarantee, in all circumstances and without condition, the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Majongwe and all other members of human rights organizations or professions in Zimbabwe. We also call for the end of all acts and forms of harassment and intimidation against defenders of human rights in Zimbabwe, and for your assurance that your government and country will observe and adhere to its international commitments and obligations.