Police crush World Aids Day march in Zimbabwe, activists arrested

Briggs, ISO

HARARE, ZIMBABWE, 1 DECEMBER 2005 - In an act of outrageous barbarism the
Zimbabwe Republic Police descended on today's World Aids Day march and ordered
the marchers to disperse. As we go to press five of the organizers of today's
protests are still in police custody since midday. These are Munyaradzi Gwisai
of ISO, Mao Nyikadzino (NCA), Sostain Moyo (Zimbabwe Activists Against Aids ),
and Anna and Gladys from the Women Aids Support Network (WASN).

The sad Irony of the matter is that the police had given clearance for the World
Aids Day march and the gathering in the Africa Unity Square only to turn around
and say the proceedings can not go ahead and worse still arrest people. This is
clearly a matter of setting up a trap and waylaying people on the way.

The success of today's action is very inspiring. Hundreds of us marched on the
streets of Harare singing and raising our banners for over 30 minutes. People
carried banners demanding access to ARVs and demands from the Action Against
Poverty. These included living wage for workers, fuel, affordable sanitary pads
and baby milk and reduction of taxation. People were also calling for
transparency on the AIDS levy to which workers painfully contribute but some
heartless regime bureaucrats are looting. There was also significant presence of
NCA activists calling for a new people driven constitution.

Lawyers from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights are busy trying to get the
arrested comrades released. We are asking cdes to bombard the police station
with calls and faxes demanding the release of those in police custody.



Harare Central Police Station
Phone: (263 4) 733033, 721212, 736931, 725903

Minister of Home Affairs
Phone: 723635, 703642, 703644