Amnesty International Has Condemned Conviction Of Fadzayi Mahere5 months ago
Amnesty International has condemned the conviction and sentencing of Fadzayi Mahere, the national spokesperson for the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). Mahere was convicted for allegedly publishing falsehoods on Twitter, specifically for a tweet about a police officer striking a baby to death.
Amnesty International states that her conviction is an assault on freedom of expression, and the government is using a non-existent law to prosecute her.
Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s deputy director, of East and Southern Africa, said:
The conviction of Fadzayi Mahere is a travesty of justice as it is based on a law that is no longer existent in Zimbabwe and applied to silence dissent.
The magistrate court in this case should have taken note of the decisions of the upper courts and acquitted Mahere.
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The conviction and sentencing demonstrate the extent to which authorities are willing to go to muzzle critical voices and supress the right to freedom of expression.
According to Mwangovya, the authorities in Zimbabwe are conveying a clear message that the right to freedom of expression has no place in the southern African country. He urged the government to quash the sentence and stop using the courts to target and harass individuals.
Mahere was charged under section 31 of the Criminal Law Reform and Codification Act with publishing or communicating falsehoods in 2021. The law was declared void by the Constitutional Court in 2014. The High Court confirmed this in another case in 2021.
Mahere was arrested in 2021 and detained for seven days before being granted bail by a Harare magistrate. On Wednesday, she was convicted and fined US$500 but was acquitted of the charge of promoting and inciting public violence. Instead, she was convicted of communicating false statements.