Zimbabwe court overturns ban on Harare protests

Judge lifts police ban, days after president accused courts of recklessness for allowing rallies that turned violent.

    Zimbabwe court overturns ban on Harare protests
    Zimbabwe has seen months of anti-government protests [EPA]

    Zimbabwe's High Court has overturned a two-week ban on protests in the capital following a legal challenge from political activists.

    Police banned rallies in Harare and the surrounding district on Thursday, after several violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters in recent weeks.

    But Judge Priscilla Chigumba said on Wednesday that the official police note issued last week was "invalid" and curtailed citizens' rights.

    Zimbabwe police violently break up anti-Mugabe protests

    "The court has said the ban was unlawful," lawyer Tendai Biti, a former finance minister who represented the activists, told journalists following the verdict.

    Biti also said that the court had delivered "a brave judgment that asserts the independence" of the judiciary.

    Zimbabwe has seen months of protests against alleged human rights abuses and the deterioration of the economy under President Robert Mugabe, who has ruled the country since 1980.

    Al Jazeera's Haru Mutasa, reporting from the High Court in Harare, said some protesters were planning to go back to the streets as soon as this week.

    "Their message is that they are unhappy with President Robert Mugabe; they say the economy is being run down, and some even say it's time for him to go."

    Earlier this week, Mugabe accused the country's judiciary courts of being reckless in allowing several anti-government protests that later turned violent.

    "We can't allow that to continue, [to have] these violent demonstrations unimpeded. No. Enough is enough," Mugabe said.

    On Friday, a different court denied bail to 58 people arrested during protests on August 26 when riot police fired tear gas, beat up several people and blocked off the site of an opposition demonstration in Harare.

    In the same demonstration, protesters threw stones at police while some set tyres ablaze and pulled down the sign for a street named after Mugabe.

    Zimbabwe unrest: Media triggers, media controls - The Listening Post

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News And Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.