“…The power-sharing government of Zimbabwe has failed to amend repressive laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA), the Public Order and Security Act (POSA), and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act. These laws deny basic rights through vague defamation clauses and draconian penalties. The failure to amend or repeal these laws, and to develop mechanisms to address the partisan conduct of the police, limits the rights to freedom of association and assembly ahead of and during the coming elections.
Provisions in AIPPA and POSA that provide criminal penalties for defamation, undermining the authority of, or insulting the president, have routinely been used against journalists and human rights defenders. ZANU-PF has repeatedly blocked attempts by the MDC to amend POSA and bring it in line with commitments in the GPA. Police often deliberately interpret provisions of POSA to ban lawful public meetings and gatherings. Prosecutors have often used section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act against opposition and civil society activists to overturn judicial rulings granting bail and extend detention by seven days…” Excerpted from Human Rights Watch World Report 2013.
© 2013 by Human Rights Watch.
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