jueves, 23 de abril de 2009

AI: Urge that all charges are dropped against peaceful Zimbabwe activists, Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu.

Next week, two women will stand before a judge in Zimbabwe with their freedom at stake. Their crime? Calling on the government to feed its starving people.
Urge that all charges are dropped against peaceful Zimbabwe activists, Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu.

Dear Friends

Jenni Williams and Magodonga ("Magi") Mahlangu
have done nothing illegal. But if convicted, the two women could face up to 5 years in prison.

The women, leaders of the organization Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), were arbitrarily arrested last October during a protest that called on the government to equally distribute scarce food aid among Zimbabweans.

Zimbabwe is a country in turmoil. But a power-sharing agreement struck between two rival political parties could mean
a new chance for a country to right itself. Yet, this unity government, as it's called, has failed to prioritize human rights as a necessity in achieving stability.

Jenni and Magi's court date on April 30th is an opportune time for Zimbabwe's leaders to step into a new era and show the world that it respects the rights of all individuals. Tell Zimbabwe's leaders to drop all charges against Jenni and Magi and to protect the country's human rights defenders.

Zimbabwe's Finance Minister is in the U.S. this week to push for restoration of humanitarian aid to help pull his country from the brink of utter collapse. But the U.S. and the rest of the international community are looking for evidence that Zimbabwe is ready to leave its deep path of violence and intolerance behind before they will agree to restore any aid.

Just this week, authorities in Zimbabwe conditionally freed three political prisoners who had been detained since December. This is a welcome development, but the government must go further. It must stop harassing, torturing and jailing activists who only seek a better tomorrow for Zimbabwe – activists like Jenni Williams and Magi Mahlangu.

Email Zimbabwe's officials and urge them to drop all charges against Jenni and Magi.

The power-sharing agreement in Zimbabwe is, in itself, a monumental step forward. And
it's going to take more monumental steps forward to bring about real change in Zimbabwe.

On April 30
th the government of Zimbabwe can prove to the world that it's ready to restore human rights. Let's help them make the right decision.


Michael O'Reilly
Campaign Director
Individuals at Risk
Amnesty International USA

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