State of the Higher and Tertiary Education sector in Zimbabwe (7-07-07)

(Summary, January-June 2007)

In January the SST recorded 15 cases of human rights violations, all of which had to do with unlawful arrests, most notably in Bulawayo where 10 students were arrested and dumped in Matopos, some 35km outside Bulawayo .
The month of February witnessed an

upsurge in repression, with 186 cases of human rights violations recorded, in the form of unlawful arrests and restriction of the right to assemble. The upsurge in human rights violations in the month of February is attributed to the fact that when students open school, they are more often than not confronted with the sad reality of exorbitant new fees structures that would have been imposed on the students by the administration
The month of March was a bloody month for pro-democracy activists in general. There were 36 cases of unlawful arrests. Notably, 2 student leaders were abducted in Gweru and dumped in Shurugwi, in a game park. 2 Students were suspended at Bulawayo Polytechnic and there was a case of systematic de-registration of one student leader.
Abductions continued in the month of April, SST recorded cases of 4 abductions of student leaders. There were 26 cases of unlawful arrests and two student leaders were suspended at Masvingo State University . Clifford Hltshawayo, a student leader at the University of Zimbabwe , was acquitted on charges of Malicious Injury to Property.
The month of May saw an upsurge in the number of students being hauled before bogus and kangaroo courts disguised as disciplinary committee hearings. One student leader was arraigned before the disciplinary committee hearing at the University of Zimbabwe , and the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) hauled 8 student leaders. 61 students were unlawfully arrested nationwide. In Bulawayo , 5 student activists appeared in court for routine remand.
The month of June saw 14 student leaders being arraigned before the disciplinary court hearings, 12 cases at the University of Zimbabwe in which cases all of the students were acquitted or made to pay fines. There were 2 cases of unlawful arrests, and 2 student leaders were abducted and made to swim in a sewerage pond after enduring hours of torture. 20 students made routine court appearing, notably in Masvingo. 6 student activists were suspended, 5 at NUST and 1 from the University of Zimbabwe .

In total, a total of 636 cases of human rights violations have occurred since January

Category of right violated Number of times the rights were violated (January-June)
Unlawful arrests 151
Unlawful detention 87
Torture/Abductions 8
Expulsion/Suspension 9
Assault 37
Political discrimination/victimization 151
Freedom of expression/ass/mvt 101
Death Threats –
Total 636
Some students had their rights violated more than once a month and some had more than one right violated more than once a month and some had more that one right violated at a time.

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