Beatrice Mtetwa, prominent Zimbabwean human rights lawyer, was arrested Sunday on charges of obstructing justice after the home of Thabani Mpofu, top advisor to the Prime Minister and Mtetwa’s client, was raided by police officers. Her crime: asking the police officers to show their search warrant.
Her arrest came just one day after Zimbabwean’s voted in favor of the new constitutional referendum; a constitution that calls for government transparency and accountability, freedom of expression and freedom from all violence. While she was set to be released on Monday at the order of the High Court, instead Mtetwa was transferred from one police station to the other, in order to avoid compliance. Now five days after her arrest, Mtetwa is set to spend a few more nights in jail, after being denied bail at her last hearing. Her next court date is not set until March 28th.
Vital Voices Global Partnership and the Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association stand in solidarity with Beatrice Mtetwa and the women of Zimbabwe and with women’s organizations across Zimbabwe and the world, calls for her release.