Socialist Worker

Zimbabwean socialists' trial delayed again

Issue No. 2267

The trial of six activists in Zimbabwe who face imprisonment for watching a video of the Arab Spring has been delayed again.

Their planned appearance in court on Monday of last week was postponed until Wednesday as the government had not appointed a magistrate.

On Wednesday the defendants were told that the trial would be delayed for another two weeks, until Wednesday 7 September.

Constant delays are part of the everyday experience of the Zimbabwean court system, but with this high-profile case the government seems unsure how to proceed.

Its case seems weak, but it doesn’t want to be embarrassed by simply dropping it.

The six were among nearly 50 activists arrested in February at a meeting organised by the International Socialist Organisation showing news footage of the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

All of them were originally charged with treason, which carries the death penalty.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights group say that the number of human rights activists arrested this year is almost three times what it was in 2010.

The government is terrified that the popular wave of revolt that has swept away dictators in the Middle East and North Africa will affect Zimbabwe.

Keep up the call for all charges to be dropped.

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Tue 30 Aug 2011, 17:11 BST
Issue No. 2267
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