Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyer Honoured

The ABA named Mtetwa as the recipient of its 2010 International Human Rights Award last week for her extraordinary contributions to the cause of human rights, the rule of law, and the promotion of access to justice in the country.

Mtetwa and another human rights lawyer Trust Maanda successfully won an acquittal for Bennett who had been on trial for terror related charges.

High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu acquitted the former Chimanimani legislator at the close of the state case after ruling that the sate had failed to establish a prima facie case against Bennett.

The human rights lawyer will travel to San Francisco in August to accept her award at a luncheon organised by ABA.

Mtetwa becomes the second recipient of the award from Zimbabwe after the ABA, which is a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois awarded the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe with the International Human Rights Award in 2001.

The International Human Rights Award, which is given each year, is intended to honor and give public recognition to an individual who has made a special contribution in the area of human rights in a foreign jurisdiction.

Since its inception in 1991, the International Human Rights Award has honored and recognised individuals who have made special contributions in the area of human rights in a foreign jurisdiction.
 
The award was created in response to the knowledge that in many countries with repressive regimes, the regime is less likely to take retaliatory action against a human rights advocate if the advocate has received international recognition. The recipients have often fought for basic human rights for others, even when it may not be in their personal self-interest, and have made extraordinary contributions to the cause of human rights, the rule of law, and the promotion of access to justice. The award builds awareness of the courageous work being done by lawyers and judges around the world in the face of adversity.