African Commissioners and UN Special Rapporteur defend right to protest

During 6 to 8th June 2012, Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA) national coordinator Jenni Williams attended international human rights experts meeting is Oslo, Norway hosted by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry. Williams presented the story of WOZA and its mandate of peaceful protest and the brutality of the state in trampling upon the right to peaceful protest.

Amongst those attending were Special Rapporteur on human rights defenders of the Africa commission on human and people rights, Reine Alapini-Gansou; the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of assembly and association, Maina Kai; on freedom of opinion and expression, Frank La Rue; and on human rights defenders, Margaret Sekaggya.

The African Commission Special Rapporteur Reine Alapini-Gansou and the two United Nations Special Rapporteurs have since released statements as a result of the meeting.

The statement reads in part “everyone without discrimination should be free to participate in peaceful protests and no one should be subjected to threats or acts of violence for addressing human rights issues through peaceful protest.”  please see the following UN and African Commission press statements on link: Oslo statement FINAL   and Press release PEACEFUL PROTEST