Zimbabwe: Pastor Mawarire’s arrest a case of history repeating itself

In response to today’s arrest of Zimbabwean Pastor Evan Mawarire after he held prayers with University of Zimbabwe medical students protesting fee increases, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa, Belinda Moses, said:

The latest arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire is unfortunately a classic case of history repeating itself
Belinda Moses, Deputy Director for Southern Africa

“The latest arrest of Pastor Evan Mawarire is unfortunately a classic case of history repeating itself.

“His arrest unfortunately shows that he continues to be targeted by a government hell-bent on criminalizing him for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

His arrest unfortunately shows that he continues to be targeted by a government hell-bent on criminalizing him for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly
Belinda Moses

“Pastor Evan Mawarire is a prisoner of conscience held solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights. He must be immediately and unconditionally released,”

Background

Pastor Evan Mawarire was arrested and charged with subversion and “insulting the national flag of Zimbabwe” on 31 January 2017. He was later released on USD 300 bail.

Founder of the #Thisflag movement, he led several anti-government protests in 2016 against corruption, human rights violations and the declining economy in the country.

He was previously arrested on 12 July 2016 and charged with incitement to commit public violence after leading a national strike on 6 July. He was then released after a magistrate found his arrest to be unconstitutional and dismissed the charge against him.