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Addendum to news item of 17 March in Respect of the Arrest of Zimbabwean Human Rights Lawyer Beatric

The Bingham Centre and Liberty followed up their statement condemning Beatrice Mtetwa's arrest with Instructions to Justice Johann Kriegler (Former Justice of the South African Constitutional Court) to appear at Beatrice's hearing and application for bail in the Zimbabwean High Court on Monday, 25 March. Bail of Z$500 was granted and the hearing of the charge will now take place in early April.

Beatrice has just written as follows:

My most profound gratitude at your support during my week's holiday as a guest of the government of Zimbabwe in its facilities in Zimbabwe. The absolute and total support I received made the 8 days appear like two days and instead of being broken, I feel invigorated as I scratch my lice bites from the prison cell. This stint also gave me an insight into the workings of the prison system and I am totally ashamed that I thought things were actually better than they are. Overcrowding, no ablution facilities in some cells, no mattresses for inmates, children sharing cells with adults, older foreign children forced to go to crèche for months on end whilst waiting for deportation, no recreational facilities or educational facilities for inmates, unbalanced diet, the list is endless!

I therefore consider that this was a necessary stint so that we can test the "new" constitution on all the myriad issues that continue to confront us in Zim.

I am particularly grateful that JUSTICE KRIEGLER, with his extremely heavy travel schedule was able to travel to Zim for the appeal hearing. I am humbled by this support and confirm my resolve to continue doing the best I can in the fight for the restoration of the Rule of Law in Zimbabwe.

My most sincere regards.


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