Ability to protest peacefully is a hallmark of a functioning democracy
21 Jan 2019

Index on Censorship is alarmed by the increasing number of restrictions being placed on protests globally, which includes attempts by governments to shut down communications networks to prevent people from mobilising. Most recently, the government of Zimbabwe imposed a communications blackout in an attempt to smother a national strike called by unions in response to a fuel price hike.

The ability to protest peacefully is a hallmark of a functioning democracy. International treaties recognise the right to protest through protections related to freedom of assembly, freedom of association, and freedom of speech.

In the past week, it is reported that Zimbabwe’s police and soldiers have beaten civilians, shot 12 people dead and detained at least 600 people. This includes Pastor Evan Mawarire, a former Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award nominee, an activist prominent on social media.

“To live freely means being able to challenge those in power without fear of harm or persecution,” said Index on Censorship chief executive Jodie Ginsberg. “We urge the international community to speak out in defence of these freedoms and we call on Zimbabwe to release those it has wrongfully arrested, end the practice of internet shutdown, and permit its people to protest in peace.”

Podcast: Is there a global crisis for local newspapers?

Spring podcast with Karoline Kan, Ian Murray and Sinead Corr exploring the future of local news.

Zimbabwe: President Mnangagwa doesn’t have the right to shut down the internet

With the ongoing violence, questions are now being asked as to whether Mnangagwa has control over the country, with many believing that Zimbabwe is effectively a military state

Zimbabwe must release Evan Mawarire and drop all charges

Index on Censorship calls for the immediate release of activist Evan Mawarire, who was arrested in Zimbabwe on Wednesday.

Project Exile: Zimbabwean broadcaster grapples with post-Mugabe era

“The question is now, under the change of government, would I be welcome? I’m still being outspoken about what I think.”

Comments are closed.

Index logo white

Join us to protect and promote freedom of speech in the UK and across the world.
Since 1972, Index on Censorship has been leading the campaign for free expression.
Our award-winning magazine originally provided the platform for the untold stories of dissidents and resistance from behind the Iron Curtain and is now a home for some of the greatest campaigning writers of our age.
Journalistic freedom, artistic expression, the right to protest, the right to speak your mind, wherever you live.  These are the founding principles of Index on Censorship.
So join us, by subscribing to our newsletter or making a donation, to use your voice to ensure that everyone else can be heard too.
Go to the Index on Censorship home page