Zimbabwe Diamond Activist Re-arrested

“Police took our client Farai Maguwu from Harare remand prison without our knowledge and for the whole of yesterday(Saturday)  we were looking for him until we found him at Matapi police station,” lawyer Tinoziva Bere told AFP.

“As we speak he is detained at Harare central police station. A team of lawyers spoke to him yesterday (Saturday). He had no complaints except that he has not been taken to hospital for medical examination as directed by the magistrate.”

Maguwu, head of the Marange-based Centre for Research and Development, was arrested after a meeting with a representative of the Kimberley Process watchdog assigned to investigate whether Zimbabwe met standards to make it eligible to trade in diamonds.

Maguwu’s organisation regularly provided information about abuses in the eastern Marange mines to the Kimberley Process.

Last week a report by the watchdog said Zimbabwe had met minimum human rights standards to be eligible to sell diamonds from Marange, paving the way for a possible resumption of sales at an upcoming meeting in Israel.

Maguwu is due to go on trial on June 23, accused of publishing information that would jeopardise the economic interests of the country.

Police were not immediately available for comment.