Human rights groups in Zimbabwe expressed concern on Friday over the continuing crackdowns on pro-democracy activists, following the detention this week of members of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) as they demonstrated in the capital, Harare. On Wednesday, members of the NCA had gathered at Africa Unity Square in the city centre to lobby for a new constitution. They were arrested and detained overnight under the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), which outlaws protests unless police permission is granted. The NCA are demanding a new constitution, which dilutes the powers of the president and better reflects issues of human rights. According to a statement from Zimbabwe’s Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), lawyers trying to secure the release of the protesters were denied access and prevented from entering the Harare Central Police Station. One of their legal representatives, Beatrice Mtetwa, told IRIN the riot police “literally threw us out of the police station”. Full Story
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