Zimbabwe Lawyers say Police Breach New Constitution, disperse Women Activists, ban Peace March

Friday, September 20, 2013
The Washington Post
Southern Africa
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
General Women, Peace and Security

The new constitution, adopted ahead of the July elections, guarantees freedoms to demonstrate and gather, said Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on Friday.

But on Thursday baton-flailing police dispersed women activists in front of the Harare parliament building who were calling for “peace and development” and action to improve living standards for Zimbabwe's poorest.

The women's group Women of Zimbabwe Arise, or WOZA, said another demonstration on Friday in the second city of Bulawayo was also broken up by police and several members were arrested for questioning.

About 100 protesters gathered outside the offices of a state-controlled newspaper in Bulawayo, the group said in a statement. Police with batons charged women who converged on the police station to demand the release of their colleagues.