Responding to the continued detention of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader,
Job Sikhala, who has spent 500 days in pretrial detention, Khanyo Farisè, Amnesty
International’s Deputy Director for East and Southern Africa, said: “Job Sikhala’s prolonged detention while he awaits trial is a gross miscarriage of justice and an indictment of Zimbabwe’s judicial system. It exemplifies how authorities are abusing the courts to silence opposition leaders, human rights defenders, activists, journalists and other critical dissenting voices.
“Authorities must stop weaponising the law to target opposition figures and ordinary
citizens. The relentless harassment and intimidation of activists and human rights defenders via the courts must end. Everyone should be able to exercise their freedom
of expression without any fear of reprisals.
“The right to a fair trial is recognised internationally as a fundamental human right
and Zimbabwean authorities are required to respect it. The charges against him are
politically motivated as based solely on the peaceful exercise of his human rights. The
authorities have also failed to demonstrate the necessity of his detention awaiting
trial. We call for his immediate and unconditional release. The international
community must strongly condemn the continued harassment against him.”