Zimbabwean police arrests 83 women activists

By Nanagayi Guyson – HARARE (AFP) – At  arrested 83 women activists have  been by Police in Zimbabwe over protests  at  parliament in the capital Harare without authorisation, a lawyer said Tuesday.

“Police have arrested 83 women from WOZA and no charges have been laid against them as yet,” lawyer Belinda Chinowawa said.

“Initially, police arrested 25 women and the other 58 handed themselves to the police in solidarity with their colleagues.”

The members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) were arrested on Monday after marching to highlight concerns around community safety and police behaviour.

“These arbitrary arrests and unlawful detentions are clearly aimed at restricting the rights to freedom of expression and assembly,” said Michelle Kagari, deputy director of Amnesty International?s Africa Programme said in a statement.

“Those detained must be released immediately and unconditionally or otherwise charged with a recognisable crime.”

The demonstrators handed police a list of demands addressed to the police commissioner and the home affairs ministry, Amnesty said.

Police spokesman Wayne Bvudzijena could not shed light on the arrests saying that “we are still verifying the information.”

The activists could appear in court today if the police decided on what charges they should face, she said.

Amnesty International has appealed to the authorities to release the women activists.