Government of Zimbabwe Weaponizes Criminal Justice System to Stifle Dissent

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders, and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have urgently written to Special Rapporteurs at the United Nations and African Commission on Human and People’s Rights to call their attention to a disturbing trend in Zimbabwe.

In an effort to stifle dissent and suppress the activities of human rights defenders and journalists, the Zimbabwe government has been weaponizing the criminal justice system, making a series of arrests and charges that appear to be politically motivated and dangerously violate people’s rights to freedom of expression and personal liberty.

In the first half of 2021 alone, there have been multiple high-profile arrests—including of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono, lawyer Job Sikhala, and activist Makomborero Haruzivishe—and the sign-on partners have urged for public intervention to stop Zimbabwe from its continued violation of international law.