A platform for voices supporting women's rights
The new constitution in Zimbabwe has been put in place ahead of the elections in July 2014. It was adopted by an overwhelming majority in March this year and requires impartiality of Mugabe’s police and security forces. This comes after years of accusations that Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party has targeted opponents in rapid security laws that forbid rallies, or political meetings, essentially stifling opposition. The constitution now states that citizens have the freedom to demonstrate and gather, but Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said this has already been breached by officials.
According to reports, “baton-flailing” police dispersed the women activists of Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), who were demonstrating for “peace and development” outside the Harare parliament building on Thursday. Police have also been reported by youth leaders as saying that the country’s environment is not “conducive” to a march commemorating the U.N Peace Day.
As Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe prepares to address the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights raised concerns about the “systematic disregard for human rights and civic activism” in Zimbabwe.” Human Rights Director of the Kennedy Center, Santiago A. Canton said “”Mugabe must be held accountable for his repeated, though so far seemingly empty, promises to foster peace and tolerance following the country’s disputed elections.”