Botswana NGO decries human rights abuses in Zimbabwe
According to a press release issued by the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders (FIDH), ZimRights National Executive Director Okay Machisa was recently released on bail, having been detained on 14 January alongside ZimRights secretary Ms Faith Mamutse.
They were both charged with contravening Section 31, 136, and 137 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly attempting to defraud the Registrar General’s Office by forging and manufacturing counterfeit copies of certificates for voter registration.
On the same day, two policemen accompanied by Machisa, two lawyers, Ms Mtetwa and Mr. Gift Ntisi, searched the ZimRights offices.
“No accessories or materials linked to the Registrar General offices were found at ZimRights,” said NGO Ditshwanelo’s spokesperson Thuto Galeitsiwe.
Ms Mamutse was released after signing a warned and cautioned statement on 14 January 2013. Okay Machisa was however remanded in custody by the Rottenrow Magistrate Court until he was released on bail on 29 January.
On 21 January 2013, two other ZimRights members, Ms Dorcas Shereni and Mr. Leo Chamahwinya were remanded in custody until 4 February, 2013 in relation to similar charges.
Galeitsiwe says series of arrests occurred just weeks after ZimRights denounced the trend of increasing police brutality across Zimbabwe and called for urgent action by competent authorities to address these human rights violations.