ZLHR condemns police harassment and abuse of women

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) notes with grave concern the escalating reports of police who abuse their positions of authority and engage in unlawful activities of harassing and arresting women in night clubs and women walking in the streets after hours.

Such despicable acts done under the guise of law enforcement are disgraceful and unbecoming and should not be condoned by any well-meaning law enforcement agency. It is sad to note that such pre-historic approaches to law enforcement are still being practiced by our police force 32 years after independence.

ZLHR condemns these acts in the strongest of terms. The police have no right under the Constitution or any law to take advantage of women and subject them to harassment and inhuman and degrading treatment because they are loitering or suspected to be loitering for purposes of prostitution. Women like all other citizens, have the right to enjoy freedom of movement and to be guaranteed their right to security of their person.

ZLHR salutes the few women who have weathered harassment and threats to seek justice under very difficult and trying circumstances without help from those who are supposed to speak for their rights. ZLHR has been providing legal assistance to 17 women who were unlawfully arrested during the blitz by the police in the past few days. We commend these arrested women who refused to plead guilty for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights of assembly, movement and association.

ZLHR calls upon the Zimbabwe Republic Police to respect women’s rights and treat women with dignity. We call for a dignitarian approach to law enforcement that respects local, regional and international instruments on promoting and protecting gender and women’s rights.

Post published in: Politics

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