Gwisai and others guilty of treason
Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:29 PM
Yes the State knew it couldn't win on the treason charge. Imagine, being charged for public violence just for watching a video
Posted 19 March 2012 - 05:31 PM
Come tell us where the Bible says that the Vatican will be destroyed by Russia in one hour!
I thought you were smart. You should know. You do not need me.
Posted 19 March 2012 - 10:04 PM
By LYDIA POLGREEN
Published: March 19, 2012
JOHANNESBURG — Six political activists in Zimbabwe who gathered last year to
watch and discuss television news broadcasts of the Arab Spring protests
were convicted on Monday of plotting to overthrow the government.
The penalty could be 10 years in prison. They are to be sentenced on
Some 45 activists, students and trade unionists were arrested last February
while attending a meeting convened by Munyaradzi Gwisai, a lecturer at the
law school at the University of Zimbabwe and a former member of Parliament
for Zimbabwe’s main opposition party, to discuss the antiauthoritarian
uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
Prosecutors claimed that Mr. Gwisai and the others were planning to start a
similar uprising in Zimbabwe aimed at toppling President Robert G. Mugabe,
who has been in power for three decades. Most of the defendants were later
released, but six, including Mr. Gwisai, were charged with serious crimes.
Lawyers for the accused said the meeting was an academic discussion, not a
planning session for a revolution.
The judge in the case, Kudakwashe Jarabini, said in court that while
watching videos of the Arab uprisings was not a crime, the organizers had
intended to incite hostility toward the government by playing them,
according to people in the courtroom.
Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party has been in a tenuous unity government with the
main opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, led by Morgan
Tsvangirai, since the 2008 election. Mr. Tsvangirai won the most votes but
dropped out of the race because of violence against his supporters.
International pressure led to the creation of a unity government. But Mr.
Mugabe retained the most crucial government posts, particularly those that
control the police and the army.
Mr. Mugabe’s party has been pushing hard for new elections, hoping to retake
power while Mr. Mugabe, 88, whose health has grown more fragile, remains
alive. But the Movement for Democratic Change and many activists and
analysts have argued against holding elections before a new constitution is
drawn up and crucial institutions, like the election commission, are
reformed. An estimated 350 people died in violence during the 2008 election.
Shortly after the 45 activists were arrested last year, a lawyer working for
them reported that a dozen had been tortured to try to force them to testify
for the state — beaten with broomsticks, metal rods and blunt objects — and
that six had been lashed. The accusations prompted a letter of concern from
the United Nations torture investigator, Juan E. Méndez.
Dewa Mavhinga of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, a collection of hundreds
of civic groups, said it appeared that the window for change in Zimbabwe was
“It is an indicator that we are really going towards elections and that the
democratic space that was previously somewhat open is quickly closing down,”
Mr. Mavhinga said. “There is no crime that has been committed. It is a
political issue that is being dealt with a politicized and severely
Posted 20 March 2012 - 04:23 AM
Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:17 AM
Posted 20 March 2012 - 06:47 AM
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