WASHINGTON DC —
Amnesty International has castigated Zimbabwean authorities for arresting Pastor Evan Mawarire of #ThisFlag, who was arrested Wednesday in Harare when he returned home after a six-month stay in the United States.
Mawarire, using the national flag, teamed up last year with Tajamuka-Sesijikile Campaign and staged crippling public protests against the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe.
In response to the arrest of Zimbabwean pastor at the Harare International Airport and his subsequent transfer to the Harare Central Police Station, where he is being detained, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa, Muleya Mwananyanda, had no kind words for President Robert Mugabe’s government.
“The trumped-up charge of subversion brought against Pastor Evan Mawarire this afternoon is absolutely ridiculous and a total sham.
“Coming after a similar charge against him last year, it is designed to make him stop his human rights activism and to punish him for speaking out about the declining human rights situation in Zimbabwe."
Amnesty International said the Zimbabwean authorities must immediately and unconditionally release Pastor Mawarire “as he is a prisoner of conscience imprisoned solely for the peaceful exercise of his rights.”
Mawarire was arrested in July last year and charged with incitement to commit public violence under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for leading a national shutdown against corruption and the declining economy.