Rights groups rap Zim

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have rapped Zimbabwe over its conviction of six activists on charges of conspiring to commit public violence.

They were each ordered to do 420 hours of community service and fined $500 for watching a video on the Egyptian uprising, but Amnesty said Harare’s judgment was a setback for freedom of expression and like HRW, wanted the charges to be dropped.

The court’s decision to convict people who were merely exercising their internationally guaranteed right to freedom of expression was simply shocking and stood as a reminder that Zimbabwe was still unsafe for activists, said the organizations, said Erwin van der Borght, AI’s Director for Africa.

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