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Amnesty International: 83 Zimbabwean Activists DetainedAlysha Atma Salem-News.com African Affairs Correspondent
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Amnesty International is calling on Zimbabwean authorities to release 83 activists, arrested during a peaceful demonstration in the capital city Harare.
"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 Program.
"Those detained must be released immediately and unconditionally or otherwise charged with a recognizable crime."
On Monday, 600 members of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) and Men of Zimbabwe Arise (MOZA) were arrested when they marched on the country's Parliament to emphasize concerns regarding community safety and police behavior. They demanded the Zimbabwean police allow freedom of expression without violence and to hold accountable those who perpetrate or threaten brutality.
Addressed to the Zimbabwean police, the Police Commissioner and the co-Ministers of Home Affairs activists handed police a list of demands. According to sources police then began arresting the demonstrators.
In a display of solidarity 25 demonstrators voluntarily climbed into the waiting police truck, they were then transported to Harare Central Police Station. A further 58 members then marched from Parliament to Harare Central Police Station and handed themselves over. No charges have yet been brought.
"This incident is a worrying example of what can happen when Zimbabweans try to make their voices heard during the current constitution making process," said Michelle Kagari.
Source: Amnesty International
Alysha Atma spends many hours working on projects that support and benefit the beleaguered people of African nations who spend way too much time off the western media's radar. This writer explains that she is a culmination of all her experiences, most importantly knowledge she says, and all that she still needs to learn; lessons of love, laughter and the extraordinary giving of both young and old. She says she has the enormous fortune of learning from the best; every person around her, and the amazing strength and fortitude of those she has never met but will always strive to listen to. "I continue to work and write because I believe in the power of community and the power of one, both contradictory to each other and yet can move together in a very powerful way. I feel a responsibility to use my place, freedoms and connections here in the US to stand up and yell for those who need my voice and actions. I have seen such strength in my fellow humans that I cannot even begin to comprehend, they have traveled distances, have gone without food, water, shelter and safety for days and weeks at a time. I have a responsibility as a fellow human to put our common humanity before anything else. Everyone deserves to look towards tomorrow, to dream of a safe future and to have a peaceful present." You can write to Alysha Atma at: email@example.com
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