Zimbabwe - Tsunga - Summary - July 2013

The Law Society of Upper Canada expresses its deep concern over the arrest of prominent human rights lawyer Arnold Tsunga in Zimbabwe.

Over the years, the Law Society has followed Arnold Tsunga's career. Mr. Tsunga was the recipient of the Human Rights Watch award in 2006. In March 2007, the Law Society invited Arnold Tsunga, then Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Acting Executive Secretary of the Law Society of Zimbabwe, to make a presentation at the Law Society on the rule of law in Zimbabwe. Mr. Tsunga met with the directors of the Law Society. The Law Society agreed to collaborate with the Law Society of Zimbabwe to assist it in strengthening its self-regulation capabilities and the independence of the legal profession in Zimbabwe.

Reliable sources report that Zimbabwean police arrested Arnold Tsunga on or about July 20, 2013. He is running for the Movement for Democratic Change of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in the eastern city of Mutare. He was detained at Dangamvura police station together with his campaign team for allegedly holding an unauthorised rally. Police have stated their intention to transfer Mr. Tsunga and his colleagues to Mutare Central Police Station. The Law Society of Zimbabwe has also indicated that another Movement for Democratic Change activist and lawyer, Jacob Mafume, was barred from holding a campaign rally in a Harare suburb.

Letter of intervention