Jenni and Magadonga from Women of Zimbabwe Arise meet the artist Stuart Semple whose activism inspired his art with Amnesty staff campaigning on their case.
Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) is a Zimbabwean activist group that speaks out about social and economic inequalities and human rights conditions in the country.
Another big thank you to Stuart Semple for his time to support Amnesty and WOZA.
Punished for peaceful protests
On 7 February 2012, WOZA celebrated its tenth anniversary with a peaceful demonstration in Bulawayo. At the demonstration, WOZA leader Jenni Williams and 13 others were arrested (9 WOZA members, 4 bystanders). According to WOZA, riot police also assaulted demonstrators and members of the public.
The detainees were released the following day on free bail. Jenni Williams and nine other WOZA members will face trial on the charge of ‘criminal nuisance’ on 23 March.
Jenni Williams and Magodonga Mahlangu also appeared in court on 12 and 15 March for their ongoing trial for charges of ‘kidnapping and theft’. Despite having previously been granted bail, Jenni Williams was not allowed to leave the court on 12 March and was held overnight in a prison cell. The case is due to resume on 22 March. An appeal by WOZA’s lawyers to have the case dismissed will be heard at the High Court on 19 March.
Countless arrests over a decade
Since WOZA was formed 10 years ago, we have documented numerous incidents in which the group’s members have been arrested, harassed and severely beaten by police after exercising their right to peaceful protest. They have been charged with everything from ‘kidnapping and theft’ to ‘criminal nuisance’.