Demo ban slammed

HARARE - The government has come under withering criticism from civic and opposition groups for imposing a curfew on Harare and banning demonstrations and rallies in the capital.
The International Bar Association's Human Rights Institute condemned the ban as a breach of the right to freedom of as

sembly protected by international and regional human rights law and the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
The IBA said it doubted the Constitutional validity of the draconian POSA, which enables the Zimbabwe Government to undermine the right to freedom of assembly by
prohibiting or restricting legitimate protests. IBA noted that the three-month ban exceeded the one-month limit imposed under POSA.
“The Government of Zimbabwe has again undermined the guarantees of human rights and the rule of law by preventing the citizens of Zimbabwe from exercising their fundamental right to free assembly,” said Mark Ellis, executive director of the International Bar Association.
“The Mugabe Government’s breaches of international human rights law and complete disregard for the rights enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe continue to escalate.”
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said the police were in contravention of Section 27 of POSA, which empowered police to outlaw rallies for only one month.
“We want to make it clear to the police that we will not listen to partisan orders that are meant to protect a failed regime that is desperately clinging to power,” said a spokesman for the NCA. “The police should come out clear and declare their allegiance to Zanu (PF) as it is wrong to put on two hats at the same time, attempting to confuse the whole nation.”
A spokesman of the Tsvangirai-led MDC, Nelson Chamisa, said intimidation and autocratic antics would not stand between the people and their vision for a new Zimbabwe. – Gift Phiri

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