Zim authorities detain human rights campaigners at airport, confiscate laptops and mobile phones

By Court reporter

ZIMBABWEAN authorities on Monday 20 May 2019 arrested four human
rights campaigners upon their return to the country and confiscated
their laptops and mobile phones.
The four human rights campaigners namely George Makoni aged 38 years,
Tatenda Mombeyarara aged 37 years, Gamuchirai Mukura aged 31 years and
Nyasha Mpahlo aged 35 years were detained upon disembarking from a
plane at Robert Mugabe International Airport on Monday 20 May 2019 and
held for several hours without communication with their lawyers after
authorities confiscated their mobile phone handsets and laptops.
Zimbabwean authorities refused to allow lawyers representing the four
human rights activists access to their clients.
The lawyers Roselyn Hanzi, Tinomuda Shoko and Godfrey Mupanga from
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights only had access to their clients at
Harare Central Police Station after nearly five hours from the time
the human rights campaigners were in incommunicado detention at the
airport.
At Harare Central Police Station, Zimbabwe Republic Police officers
only waved a search warrant in the lawyers’ faces without giving them
access to the document.
No charges have been preferred yet against the four human rights campaigners.
ZLHR’s Position is that Government must stop criminalising the work of human rights defenders
in Zimbabwe. Human rights work is not a crime.