Statement on deteriorating Human Rights situation in Zimbabwe

Harare, February 6, 2017: The United States is extremely concerned by the continuing deterioration of the human rights situation in Zimbabwe, as evidenced by the unwarranted arrest and continued detention of Pastor Evan Mawarire and the incarceration of Pastor Phillip Patrick Mugadza.

The U.S. Government unequivocally believes in the basic right to freedom of speech and calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the human rights of all Zimbabwean citizens which are enshrined in the constitution.  We believe that the basic right of Zimbabweans to freedom of speech – be it in public, through print media, or social media – should be protected within and outside Zimbabwe’s borders.

We fear these recent actions will further limit the right of Zimbabweans to exercise their Constitutionally-protected freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, which are similarly protected under Zimbabwe’s international human rights obligations, and are core values of any functioning democracy.  The U.S. Government also calls on the Government of Zimbabwe to respect the rule of law and legal due process provided by the Constitution.

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