NGO 'Outraged' by Zimbabwe's Persecution of ActivistsJune 02, 10
A number of NGOs condemned what they called "state-sponsored harassment and intimidation" of a Zimbabwean NGO. They said that the Centre for Research and Development (CRD) has been instrumental in exposing ongoing human rights abuses in
As previously reported by IDEX Online, Zimbabwean authorities raided the house and offices of CRD's director Farai Maguwu on Thursday May 27.
According to the civil society organizations, including Global Witness, Human Rights Watch, and Partnership Africa Canada, the raid was carried out by Zimbabwean Central Intelligence Organisation agents.
They confiscated documents and equipment, and arrested Maguwu's nephew, Lisbern Maguwu. Previous reports said that Maguwu's brother was arrested.
Farai Maguwu and other CRD staff have been in hiding since the raid, and lawyers attempting to gain access to Lisbern Maguwu have been interrogated and threatened by police.
The NGOs said the raid came just days after Farai Maguwu had met with KP Monitor Abbey Chikane, however it's not clear that the two are connected.
"This is the latest in a series of attempts by the Zimbabwean authorities to intimidate Centre for Research and Development representatives, and stop them from investigating and publicizing ongoing abuses in the Marange diamond fields," said Bernard Taylor of Partnership Africa Canada. "Such harassment is wholly unacceptable and must stop."
Civil society groups are calling upon KP members to suspend the monitoring arrangement provided for under the November work plan, until Zimbabwean authorities give concrete assurances that people who provide information to the KP will not be persecuted and harassed by the state security agencies for their actions.