[Marxism] Zimbabwe activists in danger of unlawful prison sentences – Solidarity needed! | Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal

glparramatta glparramatta at greenleft.org.au
Wed Mar 14 17:18:22 MDT 2012


 From http://links.org.au/node/2781

The following statement was issued by the South African Municipal 
Workers Union (SAMWU). Readers of /Links International Journal of 
Socialist Renewal/ are urged to phone, email or send protest messages 
demanding the release of the six Zimbabwe activists 
<http://links.org.au/taxonomy/term/171> to the Zimbabwe embassy or 
consulate in their countries. Solidarity actions are being organised in 
South Africa. Please send copies of protest messages sent to 
ashley_fataar at yahoo.co.uk <mailto:ashley_fataar at yahoo.co.uk>.

Text messages can be sent to:

Home affairs (police) minister Kembo Mohadi: +263 712 605 424(mobile)

State security (C.I.O.) minister Didymus Mutasa: +263 0712 200 532 (mobile)

Police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena +263 712 801 172

Police commisioner Augustine Chihuri: +263 712 808 290

Secretary for justice can be phoned on: +263 4 774 560 or +263 4 774 620 
or +263 4 774 62/7

* * *

March 14, 2012 -- The South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU) is 
alarmed to hear reports that the six Zimbabwean activists who dared to 
show and discuss a film of the Egyptian uprising last year in Harare and 
who are currently in court defending themselves, are in danger of 
receiving heavy prison sentences. The Zimbabwe state is behaving in a 
hysterical and irrational manner.

The evidence put before the court by the state is flimsy, biased and 
shrouded in innuendo and paranoia. If the six are convicted it will mean 
that the security apparatus in Zimbabwe will have unlimited powers to 
send perfectly innocent people to prison for watching a film, or worse, 
for even daring to discuss events unfolding in another country! The 
so-called evidence emanating from the state verges on the paranoiac. As 
far as the state is concerned, this group of peaceful socialist 
activists were about to launch a revolution and take power from themselves!

In other words, if you watch a film about the events in Egypt, you must 
be preparing to organise a violent uprising in Harare! On this 
reasoning, thousands of those who tuned into Al Jazeera during the North 
African turmoil are guilty too!

Michael Reza, for the state said in his submission that the six clearly 
conspired on February 19 last year to cause public violence and the 
uprising had gone beyond the planning stage. “The uprising had gone 
beyond the planning stage. The date had been set (March 1, 2011), the 
place set, (Africa Unity Square, Harare) communication method agreed on 
(email, texting).“All what remained was the arrival of the appointed 
date. The crime had been complete at that stage. “If the accused persons 
are found guilty as charged (and the state firmly believes that it 
should be so) then they should be punished heavily”. And “were it not 
for the police, who scuttled the plan, Harare would have burnt on March 
1, 2011”, he said. Logic and reason are not being applied in court by 
the state. Instead it is deploying the worst forms of guilt by 
association and conspiracy mongering to stifle any opposition to rule by 
ZANU-PF.

The state is desperate to close down any avenue for discussion in the 
build-up to the coming elections that might allow important questions to 
be raised about the illegal human rights abuses of ZANU-PF, the state of 
corruption and patronage at work in the country and the continuing 
poverty experienced by the masses. This is the real agenda. Speak out 
and you can expect to be punished and sent to prison.

SAMWU urges all of those who stand for democratic and human rights, 
including members of South Africa's Tripartite Alliance 
[ANC-COSATU-SACP] and all of civil society across the region to be ready 
to defend the six socialists who are currently in court if the 
outrageous and unjust convictions materialise. We must all be ready to 
send a message to the Zimbabwean government that intolerance of this 
type is not acceptable and must be condemned in the strongest possible 
terms.

We sincerely hope that the Movement for Democratic Change in the Zimbawe 
government will publicly disassociate itself from this travesty of 
justice, and along with civil society demand that the charges be dropped 
and those who have been victimised and vilified be properly compensated 
and given an official apology. Failure to do so will make everyone less 
secure in Zimbabwe.

The right to meet, discuss events in the world, share ideas and speak 
openly and freely is not a luxury reserved from a small political elite, 
but a fundamental human right that must be enjoyed by all.

Release the six accused now!

Say no to intimidation and state repression!

An injury to one is an injury to all!





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