ZIMBABWE – Women of Zimbabwe Arise!
Zimbabwe police have repeatedly arrested activists from the women’s group Women of Zimbabwe Arise! (WOZA) for organizing peaceful demonstrations to protest the worsening social, economic and human rights situation in the country. WOZA members have been intimidated, harassed and ill-treated by police officers.
In the wake of parliamentary and presidential elections in March 2008, Zimbabwe’s future seems uncertain. The government has cracked down on human rights defenders, trade unionists, lawyers, journalists, election observers and opposition activists. On May 5, 2008, police broke up a peaceful demonstration by WOZA members, who were protesting the state-sponsored violence that has occurred following the elections. Approximately 60 WOZA members had to seek medical attention for the injuries they sustained at the hands of the police.
Amnesty International is deeply concerned by the repression of human rights defenders in Zimbabwe. The government, in an effort to conceal human rights violations and prevent public protest and criticism of its policies, is actively seeking to silence them. You might consider incorporating the symbol of a rose into your messages of solidarity for WOZA, as WOZA members often give out paper roses during their peaceful marches to symbolize their message of peace and love.
Please send messages of support to:
PO Box FM 701