Responding to the news that security forces today arrested three activists in Bulawayo at a Unity Day memorial held to remember the victims of the Gukurahundi massacres, Flavia Mwangovya, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, said:
“It is disgraceful that Thamsanqa Ncube, Melusi Nyathi and Samkeliso Tshuma were arrested on Unity Day as they called for national peace and sought to honour the victims of the Gukurahundi massacres. Their arrest marks just the latest attempt by the authorities to silence those who want to keep victims’ memories alive.”
“The Zimbabwean authorities have previously destroyed memorial plaques put in place by local activists, in a clear sign that they wish to permanently censor any discussion or remembrance of the Gukurahundi massacres.”
“The three activists arrested today have not committed a single crime — they should be immediately and unconditionally released. The authorities prevaricated over declaring their charges, which offers a clear indication that they were arrested arbitrarily, and sends a chilling message to other activists in the country.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International.