HIV/AIDS march banned

In a move that has been described by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights as a clampdown on freedom of assembly, the police on Tuesday banned an intended march by HIV and AIDS activists who want the government to increase funding to the health sector.

Irene Petras, the director of ZLHR, said that they sought clearance from the police for the peaceful march, but the officers restricted them to a gathering at African Unity Square.

“We were prevented from the initial request which was to march and hand over the petition which we feel is very important. It’s very disappointing that the authorities continue to restrict freedom of assembly, even for something as critical as public health financing,” said Petras.

Police have upped the ante on restricting freedom of assembly, they argue that they intend to maintain peace, but observers view this as a clampdown that is meant to further restrict the democratic space in Zimbabwe.

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