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Zim's proposed Patriot Bill 'an attempt to silence dissent' - Human Rights Watch

5 October 2020 2:48 PM
Tags:
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe government
Human Rights Watch
ZANU PF
law
Dewa Mavhinga
Patriot Bill

Zimbabwe’s government wants to make it a criminal offence for citizens to criticise the state or hold meetings with foreign governments without approval.

Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu-PF party plans to table a bill in Parliament that criminalises communication with foreign governments without state approval.

If enacted, the so-called Patriot Bill will impose heavy jail terms on those convicted.

Human rights activists say the bill is an attempt to silence dissent in the country.

Dewa Mavhinga, the Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch, says the bill is a move towards authoritarianism by a government that does not tolerate democracy and human rights.

Mavhinga says the draconian legislation is in direct conflict with freedom of expression and freedom of association.

The human rights activist believes the bill is in response to when he appeared before the US Senate’s committee on foreign relations shortly after the ouster of Robert Mugabe in 2017.

The so-called Patriot Bill in Zimbabwe is a clear attempt to muzzle opposition and government critics and to silence dissent.

Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa Director - Human Rights Watch

The government of Zimbabwe has consistently shown that it does not tolerate different views and it is now using the law to punish those that have got different views and have been exposing corruption and human rights abuses in Zim.

Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa Director - Human Rights Watch

We have heard some of the Zanu-PF legislators talking of capital punishment for people who speak against the governement of Zimbabwe or criticise the human rights record of the government.

Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa Director - Human Rights Watch

Listen to Dewa Mavhinga in conversation with Koketso Sachane:




5 October 2020 2:48 PM
Tags:
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe government
Human Rights Watch
ZANU PF
law
Dewa Mavhinga
Patriot Bill

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