Thursday August 22, 2019
SNc Channels:

Search
About Salem-News.com

 

Dec-04-2013 10:41printcomments

Zimbabwe: Martha Tholanah summoned to stand trial on charges of running an

Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com,William Nicholas Gomes is deeply concerned by the ongoing mistreatment of GALZ members and the shrinking space for civil society in Zimbabwe in light of similar charges being brought against other human rights defenders, such as Abel Chikomo.

William Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
William Gomes, Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com

(Washington, D.C) - On 4 December 2013, human rights defender Ms Martha Tholanah was summoned to appear in Rotten Row Magistrate Court. She has been charged with running an “unregistered” organisation under Section 6 (iii) of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act and will appear in court on 12 December 2013. Martha Tholanah is Chairperson of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ).

GALZ is an association founded in 1990 that advocates for social tolerance for sexual minorities and the repeal of homophobic legislation in Zimbabwe. The summons, stamped on 7 November 2013, was served to Martha Tholanah's lawyer, Tonderai Bhatasara, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

On 23 August 2012, Martha Tholanah was charged with running an “unregistered” organisation after officers from Harare Central Police Station executed a search warrant at the GALZ offices. The police indicated that nothing illegal was found in documents or computers, however they advised that the confiscated materials would not be returned until the case was concluded. At the time, Martha Tholanah was told that she would be summoned under the PVO Act.

The search at GALZ office was preceded by instances of police harassment. On 20 August 2012, the police attempted to enter GALZ offices, but no members of staff were in the offices at the time. On 21 August 2012, unidentified members of the Zimbabwe National Army reportedly patrolled the GALZ offices and recorded details from caretaker's documents with information on people who had visited the GALZ offices in recent months, including one visitor's phone number.

On 11 August 2012, thirty one men and thirteen women members of GALZ were assaulted, arrested and detained at Harare Central Police Station following the launch of the GALZ Violations Report and Briefing of the second draft Zimbabwe Constitution. Members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights were denied access to the detainees. They were all released within a day.

Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com,William Nicholas Gomes is deeply concerned by the ongoing mistreatment of GALZ members and the shrinking space for civil society in Zimbabwe in light of similar charges being brought against other human rights defenders, such as Abel Chikomo.


H.E. Robert Gabriel Mugabe
Office of the President
Munhumutapa Building
Samora Machel Avenue
Causeway
Harare
Zimbabwe

Your Excellency,

On 4 December 2013, human rights defender Ms Martha Tholanah was summoned to appear in Rotten Row Magistrate Court. She has been charged with running an “unregistered” organisation under Section 6 (iii) of the Private Voluntary Organisation (PVO) Act and will appear in court on 12 December 2013.

Martha Tholanah is Chairperson of Gays and Lesbians of Zimbabwe (GALZ). GALZ is an association founded in 1990 that advocates for social tolerance for sexual minorities and the repeal of homophobic legislation in Zimbabwe.

The summons, stamped on 7 November 2013, was served to Martha Tholanah's lawyer, Tonderai Bhatasara, a member of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

On 23 August 2012, Martha Tholanah was charged with running an “unregistered” organisation after officers from Harare Central Police Station executed a search warrant at the GALZ offices. The police indicated that nothing illegal was found in documents or computers, however they advised that the confiscated materials would not be returned until the case was concluded. At the time, Martha Tholanah was told that she would be summoned under the PVO Act.

The search at GALZ office was preceded by instances of police harassment. On 20 August 2012, the police attempted to enter GALZ offices, but no members of staff were in the offices at the time. On 21 August 2012, unidentified members of the Zimbabwe National Army reportedly patrolled the GALZ offices and recorded details from caretaker's documents with information on people who had visited the GALZ offices in recent months, including one visitor's phone number.

On 11 August 2012, thirty one men and thirteen women members of GALZ were assaulted, arrested and detained at Harare Central Police Station following the launch of the GALZ Violations Report and Briefing of the second draft Zimbabwe Constitution. Members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights were denied access to the detainees. They were all released within a day.

I am deeply concerned by the ongoing mistreatment of GALZ members and the shrinking space for civil society in Zimbabwe in light of similar charges being brought against other human rights defenders, such as Abel Chikomo.

I urge the authorities in Zimbabwe to:

  1. Immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Martha Tholanah and GALZ as it is believed they are solely motivated by his peaceful and legitimate work in defence of human rights;
  2. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Zimbabwe are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment.


Yours Sincerely,
William Nicholas Gomes
Human Rights Ambassador for Salem-News.com
Twitter @wnicholasgomes
www.williamnicholasgomes.com

- See more at: http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/24402/action#sthash.jsjpo9Eo.dpuf

________________________________________

______________________________

Salem-News.com Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes is a Bangladeshi journalist, human rights activist. As an investigative journalist has written widely for leading European and Asian media outlets. William Gomes concentrates on humanity; his advocacy of human beings in dangerous, preventable circumstances does in fact lead to some of our most vital reports, because they give a voice to the voiceless.

William Gomes said, "I am against any form of intolerance alongside xenophobia and antisemitism. I am and will always stand strong in combating all forms of racial discrimination and intolerance any where." Read his letters and reports to see what the new generation of world journalists are doing to preserve human rights worldwide.

_________________________________________




Comments Leave a comment on this story.
Name:

All comments and messages are approved by people and self promotional links or unacceptable comments are denied.


[Return to Top]
©2019 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.


Articles for December 3, 2013 | Articles for December 4, 2013 | Articles for December 5, 2013
Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.


Your customers are looking: Advertise on Salem-News.com!

Support
Salem-News.com:

Special Section: Truth telling news about marijuana related issues and events.