In 2004, to mark International Human Rights Day (10 December), CIVICUS and Amnesty International South Africa co-facilitated a series of placard demonstrations and protests by civil society activists at the Zimbabwe High Commissions in various countries of Southern Africa. The event was intended as the foundation stone of a civil society solidarity movement in support of Zimbabwe’s people in Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries including Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa and Zambia.
The protests were against the continued shrinking of civic space and repressive policy and legislation in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans in the diaspora and citizens of Africa came together to draw international attention to the ongoing violations of civil liberties in Zimbabwe, particularly with regard to the freedom of opinion and expression, association and assembly. The adoption of repressive and unconstitutional legislation such as the Non-Governmental Organizations Bill (NGO Bill), the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Amendment Act (AIPPA) and the Public Order and Security Act (POSA) have effectively outlawed dissent and placed fundamental rights under siege.
Subsequent to these demonstrations, the Zimbabwe Solidarity Rally (ZSR) has been scheduled to take place on 12 March to commemorate the Day for Women’s Rights and International Peace. This event will be a continuation of the campaign of protest. The ZSR entails the mobilization of citizens of Zimbabwe’s neighbouring countries, Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia, so that they assemble at the main borders of Zimbabwe at the same time and day.
For more information about CIVICUS, contact Florence Kiff, Communications Manager.
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
CIVICUS House, 24 Pim Corner Quinn Sts, Newtown, 2001 Johannesburg, South Africa
Tel+27 11 833 5959
Fax +27 11 833 7997
For more on solidarity, listen to our Alliance Audio podcast: Solidarity & Philanthropy.